Sydney Sixers star Mitchell Starc has warned his mates at Yorkshire not to expect any favours when they cross swords in today’s Champions League t20 group ‘B’ clash at Newlands in Cape Town (12.30pm UK).
The White Rose’s overseas player in 2012, now one of world cricket’s hottest properties, will be aiming to build on the Australian side’s impressive 14-run win over Chennai Super Kings in Johannesburg on Sunday.
He has promised Yorkshire captain Andrew Gale “a few round his nose”, while the 22-year-old left-arm quick was involved in some friendly jousting with off-spinner Azeem Rafiq in a text message conversation yesterday afternoon.
Starc was out socialising with a number of the Yorkshire camp last night, but all friendships will be put on hold for a few hours against the stunning back drop of Table Mountain today.
And do not expect to see him follow some footballers’ tradition of not celebrating scoring a goal against their former team.
“Not a chance,” said Starc, who took 21 Friends Life t20 wickets for the county during the most recent summer.
“I’ll be celebrating every wicket as hard as I always do.
“There were some good mates I made at Yorkshire, so I’m looking forward to the contest.
“I know the Yorkies will be up for it, but so will the Sixers.
“It will be a good battle I reckon, but they’ll have to be at their best to beat us.
“Galey whacked me around the park a fair bit in our practice sessions over the summer, but the wickets are a bit quicker out here in South Africa. He can expect a few round his nose.
“I’ve had a little bit of a verbal battle with Rafa on the texts too. It will be an interesting contest, but a fun one.”
Starc’s star has risen dramatically since signing for Yorkshire in May, particularly in limited overs cricket.
After impressing in county cricket, he enjoyed a successful tour of the UAE in matches against Pakistan before doing likewise at the World Twenty20 as Australia reached the semi-finals.
Therefore, as he admits himself, he owes the county a debt of gratitude.
“That spell definitely helped me to learn a lot about my game,” he added.
“I had an injury a couple of years ago, so to go to England and play a lot of cricket in a short space of time was good for me to work out things on my own outside the Australian and New South Wales set ups.
“I loved my time at Yorkshire, and I’d obviously love to go back for a lot longer in the future. I haven’t heard anything about talks taking place yet, but it’s a bit early to tell what I’ll be doing in the off-season.
“Test cricket’s the pinnacle, so I’ll be trying to get over to England for the Ashes series.
“If that doesn’t come off, don’t rule out the possibility of me coming back for the White Rose.”
• Yorkshire’s game against Sydney Sixers will be televised live on British Eurosport 2 from 12.20pm today.