Mitchell Starc's brutal $4.4 million reality check amid nine-year IPL cricket first

Starc copped a baptism of fire after ending his nine-year hiatus in the competition.

Aussie cricket star Mitchell Starc has been given a brutal baptism of fire in his first Indian Premier League (IPL) game in nine years after copping a hiding in the Kolkata Knight Riders' (KKR) victory over Pat Cummins' Sunrisers Hyderabad. Starc ended his long hiatus from the IPL by signing for KKR for a staggering $4.4 million last year.

Starc revealed his decision to forgo the huge money on offer from the IPL had cost him an estimated $10 million over the years. The veteran fast bowler said part of the reason he chose not to play in India was so he could spend more time with family and his wife Alyssa Healy, but was encouraged to return to the IPL in preparation for this year's T20 World Cup.

Pictured left is Mitchell Starc and wife Alyssa Healy and bowling in the IPL on the right.
Mitchell Starc has turned down millions of dollars on offer from the IPL over the years so he could spend more time with his wife, Alyssa Healy. Pic: Getty

The eye-watering deal at KKR saw Starc become the most expensive foreign import in the competition's history but with that hefty price tag comes lofty expectations from fans. And Starc found that out the hard way in his side's thrilling win against the Cummins-captained Hyderabad after being smashed for 26 runs in a single over.

If that wasn't bad enough, Starc also went wicketless and finished with the underwhelming figures of 0-53 off four overs, at a whopping economy rate of 13.25. Starc almost allowed Cummins' men to snatch a miracle win after being entrusted with the ball in the penultimate over, with Hyderabad still requiring 39 off 12 balls to overhaul KKR's formidable 7-208.

Seen here, Mitchell Starc bowling for the Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL.
Mitchell Starc's first game in the IPL for nine years was one to forget for the Kolkata Knight Riders. Pic: Getty

Starc bowled a wide, and then proceeded to be smashed for four sixes - three from Heinrich Klaasen (63 off 29 balls) and another from Shahbaz Ahmed - as the Sunrisers sniffed an unlikely triumph. But despite getting hit for six off the first ball of the death over by Shahbaz, KKR's Harshit Rana then took the wickets of both danger men to swing the match back in the home side's favour.

Mitchell Starc called out over expensive return to IPL

Cummins had a chance to win the match for his side with a six off the very last ball but swung and missed at Rana's final delivery, as KKR escaped with a four-run win. That spared the blushes of Starc - who it's been figured out is getting paid around $11,000 per ball during the IPL season. Unsurprisingly, fans flooded social media in response to his inauspicious start to the IPL season.

Andre Russell powers KKR to match-winning total

Starc's Test skipper Cummins - himself a massive $3.67 million signing for Hyderabad - performed much better with the ball after finishing with figures of 1-32 off his four overs. That wasn't enough to halt the charge from KKR batter Andre Russell, who ensured the home side powered past 200 with a swashbuckling 64 not out that included seven sixes.


"It was a close game in the end, a wonderful game of cricket but unfortunately didn't go our way," Cummins said afterwards. "Dre Russ did what he does best. You do your planning, you try to execute your plans, but he's a pretty tough guy to bowl to."

David Warner and Mitch Marsh were also on the losing side in the earlier match for Delhi Capitals, who lost to the Punjab Kings by four wickets. The pair started well with Warner (29 off 21 balls) and Marsh (20 off 12) putting on 39 off 20 for the first wicket.

Delhi stuttered before some fabulous late hitting from impact sub Abishek Porel (32no off 10) took them to 9-174. Marsh then got hammered for 52 off his four wicketless overs and Warner, who had otherwise been quite brilliant in the field, dropped a difficult one in the deep in the penultimate over. English duo Sam Curran (63) and Liam Livingstone (38no) did most to steer the Kings to their target after finishing on 6-177.

with AAP