ICC Men's ODI World Cup 2019
Starc joins Direct Hit for World Cup, Ashes
Fans will enjoy behind-the-scenes experiences with Australian pace spearhead joining Cummins and Maxwell on Direct Hit platform
16 May 2019, 06:15 PM AEST
Mitch Starc will take fans behind the scenes of this year's World Cup and Ashes campaigns with Direct Hit, and the Australian pace spearhead used the player-led platform to share the excitement – and fear – he felt during his return to the national team last week in Brisbane.
Starc has followed teammates Glenn Maxwell and Pat Cummins as well as Australia Women's skipper Meg Lanning in joining Direct Hit, a player-led brand that brings cricket fans closer to the action than ever before.
Starc hasn't played a full international match since the Canberra Test in early February, after which he was diagnosed with a pectoral injury that ruled him out of Australia's one-day tours of India and the UAE.
The left-armer suffered a "substantial" tear in his left pec during his 10-wicket haul against Sri Lanka at Manuka Oval, but only became aware of the injury the morning after the match when he noticed significant swelling in his chest.
So it was with some trepidation that he woke up last Thursday morning in Brisbane, the day after his return to competitive action against a New Zealand XI at Allan Border Field, to confirm his preparations for Australia's World Cup defence remained on track.
"It was a little nerve-wracking waking up and saying 'good, it hasn't happened again'," Starc said with a smile in his first interview with Direct Hit.
"It was really unusual when it happened. I didn't know that I'd done it; I woke up the next morning and my chest was out on one side. So it was good to wake up (in Brisbane) with a normal-sized chest.
"Tearing a pec isn't a usual cricket injury, it's more of a football one, so I wasn't sure how it was going to react coming back to bowling and trying to bowl fast."
Starc showed no sign of nerves in his two 50-over matches against the Kiwis last week, bowling at high pace and taking wickets with trademark yorkers.
He and the rest of the Australia squad spent time in Gallipoli this week, visiting ANZAC Cove and the memorials to the First World War battlefield, before heading to the UK where Australia will look to defend both the World Cup and the Ashes. It's from there he will provide fans with a unique insight to his long winter abroad having joined the Direct Hit brand.
Direct Hit has had more than eight million video views since it launched last year, with the players providing insights into their personal journeys and also re-living some of their favourite cricket highlights, as both players and spectators.
"We'll have behind-the-scenes footage from the back of the bus, the change rooms and maybe on the ground as well," Starc said of his plans for Direct Hit when he's in the UK.
"It's going to be a massive winter as we try and retain both trophies for the Australian Cricket Team, so tune in and follow all the action on Direct Hit."
The player of the tournament at the 2015 World Cup, Starc's successful return to action last week was a further boost to the Australian side as they look to win a record sixth title.
While frustrated at missing the recent tours of Asia, where the Aussies recorded eight straight wins to enter the World Cup as one of the tournament favourites, Starc said he has used the long break to his advantage.
"I've had some time over the last few months to refocus and have a little re-think about how I approach my bowling, and some little cues that are important to me that set me right in my action," he said.
"That's been really good mentally, to have a finer focus on my preparation and cues in my bowling.
"To do it in a game (in Brisbane) and have those processes work really well was really good for me, to see that work over the last few months come to fruition in a competitive sense."