Mitchell Starc has been released from his Indian Premier League contract by Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), the Australian speedster confirmed on Wednesday (November 14).
Starc was roped in by KKR in the 2018 auction for a whopping INR 9.4 Cr but did not feature in the tournament owing to a leg injury.
"I got a text message two days ago from the owners of Kolkata saying I've been released from my contract, so at the moment I'll be home in April," Starc told reporters in Sydney.
"I didn't go last year with my tibia injury. It was a great opportunity to freshen the body up and let it heal by itself. Barring the little niggle in the hammy, I feel pretty good with my body and my strength and the rest of it,” he added.
Starc was replaced by Tom Curran in KKR's unit this season. The English left-arm pacer was picked up for Rs 1.62 crore from the Registered and Available Player Pool list.
Although Starc admitted that the IPL remains a lucrative opportunity for cricketers, he wants to play as much red-ball cricket as possible for Australia.
"I'm sure it would [provide security] for a lot of people, it's probably no different to working life outside of the sporting field. When you look at some of the dollars involved in the IPL and some for the T20 leagues around the world, for guys who might be on the fringe or want to concentrate on T20 cricket, it's very beneficial to play.
"At the moment for me I just want to play as much Test and one-day cricket as I can, and the IPL is a lovely bonus on the pay packet, but if I miss that to play more Test matches, I'm taking that option," Starc said.
Starc has played two seasons in the Indian Premier League. The fearsome left-armer represented Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in 2014 and 2015 wherein he claimed 14 and 20 wickets respectively.
He recently returned to the national team for the three-match ODI series against South Africa. Starc picked up 4 wickets at an average of 38.75 in Australia’s 2-1 series defeat at home.