Starc will not return to Sixers for BBL Final
Sixers to keep faith with group that got them to BBL|10 Final with Starc and club agreeing Australia quick not needed as club pushes for back-to-back titles
2 February 2021, 11:58 AM AEST
The Sydney Sixers will not have the services of Australia left-arm spearhead Mitchell Starc for the KFC BBL|10 Final after the club and player agreed there was no need for him to return.
Starc signed for the Sixers last November with the aim of playing the final games of the regular season in his first BBL stint since 2014.
But hamstring and knee issues after an arduous Vodafone Test Series against India put those plans on hold while the Sixers advanced to a second successive BBL Final.
"The guys have done so well this year and I think it's in everyone's best interests to stick with the guys that have worked so hard to get to this point," Starc said in a statement today.
"I've always felt part of the club and I am right behind them for another big win on Saturday night."
That trio played key roles in the Sixers taking out the tournament last summer, but Starc and Nathan Lyon will not feature in the BBL this summer after playing in the Test series.
Fortunately for the Sixers, they still boast a powerful bowling attack even without Starc.
Sydney's leading wicket-taker Ben Dwarshius and former Test quick Jackson Bird took the new ball in the comprehensive win over the Scorchers in the Qualifier, with incumbent Australia T20 fast bowler Abbott coming on as first change.
Veteran Stephen O'Keefe has been the preferred sole spinner with seasoned pros Carlos Brathwaite and Dan Christian chipping in with their right-arm medium pace.
Should Starc be available it would undoubtedly produce the good kind of headache for head coach Greg Shipperd and the Sixers selectors.
The Sixers will face the winner of Thursday night's Challenger final between the Perth Scorchers and Sydney Thunder at Manuka Oval in the Final on Saturday in what will be their first and last home game of the season.
"It feels like we haven't been home for two years," Sixers batsman Daniel Hughes said.
"The boys are very excited to get home. We've been away all tournament, the boys are excited to get home in front of our home fans and friends and family as well.
"We can't wait to get back there on Saturday night."
BBL|10 Finals Series (all matches will screen on Channel 7, Fox Cricket & Kayo)
The Eliminator: Brisbane Heat (4) beat Adelaide Strikers (5) by six wickets
The Qualifier: Sydney Sixers (1) beat Perth Scorchers (2) by nine wickets
The Knock-Out: Brisbane Heat (4) beat Sydney Thunder (3) by seven wickets