Australian fast bowler Mitchell Starc, who is recovering from an injury and is in a race against time to be fully fit for the World Cup has called the tournament “the pinnacle" of the one-day game.
Five time world champions Australia are hoping for a sixth crown and Starc, who is part of the preliminary 15-man squad, is preparing to help his side achieve that in what will be his second World Cup.
“In the one-day game, it’s the pinnacle, the World Cup. No matter where it is, or who’s playing. It’s the pinnacle of the game in one-day cricket," the 29-year old told ICC.
Australia are coming into the World Cup on the back of a good run where they won eight games on the trot - three against India to fight back and win the ODI series 3-2 before a 5-0 whitewash of Pakistan in UAE.
Starc was the highest wicket-taker in the 2015 edition, with 22 wickets in eight matches at an economy of just 3.50 and is hoping for a repeat.
“It’s going to be a great tournament," he said. “It’s at tournament play where it shows how good a team is. You want to be playing your best cricket at the end. You want to make the finals first, but you want to keep your best cricket for the end. It’s a bit different than playing the same team in a few games (of a) series."
"No matter where it is, or who's playing, it's the pinnacle of the game in one-day cricket."@mstarc56 speaks to ICC Cricket 360 about the magnitude of the @cricketworldcup. pic.twitter.com/eaOylrSc8H— ICC (@ICC) April 22, 2019
The defending champions have quite a strong battery of fast bowlers that will travel to the World Cup with the likes of Pat Cummins, Jason Behrendorff, Jhye Richardson and Nathan Coulter-Nile, besides Starc included in the side. And Starc believes his side can outperform England in their own backyard.
“If we can beat England in England, win a World cup in England, and then win the Ashes in England, there is not too much that an Englishman or woman can say to knock you down."
Being a fast bowler, injuries have been a big part of Starc’s career. He recently missed the five-match ODI series in India, which the visitors won 3-2, but hopes his body can hold up long enough for him to keep performing.
“Hopefully my body lasts a few more years, and I can get a few more wickets along the way for the group," said Starc. “(I’m) just loving being a part of this group of guys and this challenge going forward. To do it with some of my best mates is pretty special as well."