Mitchell Starc 'very unlikely' to play in World Twenty20

Australian pacer Mitchell Starc, who suffered an ankle injury during the inaugural day-night Test against New Zealand in November last year and has had surgery, has conceded that he is 'very unlikely' to be fit for the ICC World T20

Sydney: Australian pace spearhead Mitchell Starc, who suffered an ankle injury during the inaugural day-night Test against New Zealand in November last year, has virtually ruled himself out of the ICC World Twenty20.

The 25-year-old left-arm quick, who has had surgery on ankle spurs after sustaining a stress fracture in his foot, has conceded that he is "very unlikely" to be fit for the T20 World Cup and lead the Aussie attack in it's bid for a first T20 title. 

Australia's pace spearhead Mitchell Starc walking onto the field with crutches at the end of first day-night cricket Test match against New Zealand at the Adelaide Oval on November 29, 2015. Pic/AFP

Starc, the player of the tournament at last year’s 50-overs World Cup, was always an outside shot to make the March 11-April 3 World Twenty20 in India due to the estimated recuperation period and he was unable to offer a better prognosis on Wednesday. 

He though is looking at the bigger picture and hopes to be back for the mid-year tri-series in the West Indies.
Speaking to reporters at the rain-hit Sydney Test against the West Indies with his right foot protected by a moon-boot, said he was uncertain about when he would return. However, he all but ruled out playing in the T20 World Cup, starting in India on March 8.

"It's very unlikely. Everything would have to go perfectly to be any chance. I won't know until I can start doing some stuff on it," Starc said.

"I've played probably non-stop for two years and the silver lining is I get to give the body a bit of a break and rebuild that strength.

"Make sure everything is 100 percent before I go again." Starc said he had more chance of playing in the T20 Indian Premier League in early April or in the one-day tri-series against South Africa and the West Indies in the Caribbean in June.

"I don't know at this stage. It comes back to when I start bowling and how it reacts to the bowling. There's no real timeframe," he said.

Starc, who was wearing a "moon boot" to take pressure off his foot, said his first return to action would more likely be during the Indian Premier League tournament, starting late April. 

"That (the IPL) could be a possibility and there's the West Indies tri-series after that as well. There's cricket all throughout the year and I don't want to rush it. "I want to make sure it's 100 percent before I go and play my first game."

Starc, who took over leadership of Australia's pace attack following the retirement of Mitchell Johnson last November, said he was happy with the surgery.

"By all reports the surgery has gone really well and it's more just waiting for the fracture to heal more," he said.

"The ankle's going really well. The movement in it is really good at the moment.

"I had the three spurs shaved back and a whole heap of scar tissue out of the front and a big piece of bone pulled out of the back of the ankle.

"If the foot wasn't broken I'd be doing a lot more than I am at the moment." Starc said he expected to be running within five to six weeks.

The left-arm swing paceman, who has taken 91 wickets in 25 tests and was one of the stars of Australia's World Cup-winning campaign last year, did acknowledge that a return to the national team was not a certainty.

"I don't think you can ever say 100 percent that you've cemented a spot," Starc said. "I'm still going to have to work when I get back to bowling to get my spot back.

"But I'd like to think in the last 10-12 months I've come a long way in all forms of cricket."

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