Mitchell Starc is set to leave Australia’s tour of South Africa early and miss the third ODI in Potchefstroom on Saturday to watch his wife Alyssa Healy play the Women’s T20 World Cup final against India at the MCG on Sunday. Starc is scheduled to leave South Africa on Friday, and coach Justin Langer said that the arrangement would also give Starc a chance to “refresh” ahead of the series against New Zealand.
“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime chance for Mitch to watch Alyssa in a home World Cup final and so we were happy to allow him to return home to support his wife and be part of a fantastic occasion,” Langer said. “It is something we have been talking about for a while and, given Mitch has had a considerable workload in all three formats this summer, his heading home a couple of days ahead of the rest of the squad means he will have a chance to refresh ahead of our home and away one-day internationals and Twenty20 internationals against New Zealand that will wrap up our season.
“We have plenty of fast-bowling options with us here in South Africa with Josh Hazlewood, Jhye Richardson and Kane Richardson all sitting out our previous match in Bloemfontein, and Mitch’s absence will offer one of them an opportunity to impress in Saturday’s match.”
Starc took figures of 1 for 53 and 2 for 59 as Australia lost the first two games of their ODI series in South Africa.
As for Healy, she bounced back from a poor run of scores in the lead up to the World Cup to score 51 against India and 83 against Bangladesh, and will be one of the key cogs in the wheel for Australia in Sunday’s final at the MCG.