Mitchell Starc pulls out of second Sri Lanka T20

The Australian pace spearhead will attend his brother’s wedding instead; Billy Stanlake or Sean Abbott are likely to replace him.

Mitchell Starc has been granted a release as part of an increased focus on family time under coach Justin Langer.   -  AP

Australian pace spearhead Mitchell Starc has decided his brother’s wedding is more important than a game of cricket, pulling out of the second Twenty20 against Sri Lanka to witness him tie the knot. Billy Stanlake or Sean Abbott are likely to replace Starc as Australia targets an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-game series in Brisbane on Wednesday.

Cricket Australia reported the Starc move on its website on Monday, saying he had been granted a release as part of an increased focus on family time under coach Justin Langer. Regardless of whether Stanlake or Abbott get their chance, vice-captain Pat Cummins told reporters on Monday Australia’s effective use of the short ball would continue.

“[Bowling short is] something we speak about, no doubt, especially at the Gabba or Adelaide Oval, where it’s quite fast and bouncy,” he said. “And all our bowlers are 6 [foot] four [inches] or 6’5.”

Australia emphatically won the opening T20 in Adelaide on Sunday by 134 runs, with David Warner celebrating his birthday with a return to form, clubbing an unbeaten 100.