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A Starc change of direction for Yorkshire
Mitchell Starc, Yorkshire’s new recruit, has revealed he did not start his cricketing career looking to terrorise batsmen with his languid style of left-arm fast bowling.
For the 22-year-old from Sydney wanted to be a wicketkeeper, with the aim of emulating Ian Healy and Adam Gilchrist instead of Glenn McGrath and Jason Gillespie.
Starc grew up with the gloves on, and played his cricket in that role until he was given the nudge by one of his coaches that things needed to change if he was to make the grade.
It was a stroke of genius as Starc is now one of Australian cricket’s hottest bowling prospects, and looks set to be a big hit on the international stage in years to come.
Starc recently signed as Yorkshire’s overseas player for a portion of the 2012 summer.
He made a significant impact on debut as his three wickets helped secure a Clydesdale Bank 40 win over Derbyshire at Headingley on Sunday, and he will take the new ball in tomorrow’s 40-over clash with Sussex at Hove, under lights on Sky Sports.
“I’ve only been bowling properly for about six years because I used to be a wicketkeeper,” he explained.
“It got to a point in an under-16s competition in Sydney where the coach at the time said, ‘If you want to make this team, you’re going to have to start bowling’.
“So that’s when I started bowling. I had to sort of learn from scratch and go from there.
“It seemed a good change at the time. I was probably too tall for keeping anyway.”
Ironically, Starc’s partner is Alyssa Healy, Ian’s niece and one of Australia women’s wicketkeepers. She has travelled to Yorkshire with him.
The length of Starc’s stay at Headingley has not yet been confirmed.
He originally signed for five weeks, but had two of those wiped out due to his well-documented visa problem.
He has been named in the Australia ‘A’ squad for their tour of England between July 17 and August 17, and is hoping he will be given the all-clear to remain with Yorkshire until then.
“Common sense would say I’ll stay here and play. Hopefully that’s the case, but I’m not sure yet,” he said.
Starc will make his LV= County Championship division two debut against Northamptonshire at Headingley next week.
But, before then, he has two 40-over clashes against Sussex and the Unicorns on Sunday to help him acclimatise to the rigours of county cricket.
“I would have loved to come straight in and play some cricket as soon as I got off the plane last week, but it probably wouldn’t have been the smartest thing to do,” he admitted.
“It wouldn’t have been the best thing for the team either.
“We’ll have had three one-day games in a week, which is a lesser effect on the body, to get me started here.”
If Yorkshire can beat Sussex and the Unicorns at Scarborough, they will have won three of their first four matches.