"She was away on a tour" - Mitchell Starc reveals using Alyssa Healy's bat in Ashes
Australian all-rounder Mitchell Starc has adopted an unconventional approach by utilizing his wife Alyssa Healy's cricket bat for the past seven months.
In the World Test Championship Final against India, Starc achieved his highest Test score in nearly four years, scoring an impressive 41 runs. Furthermore, during the Ashes match at Lord's, he faced 72 balls, making a substantial contribution towards the team's fourth-innings target against England.
Starc's decision to use Healy's bat is based on his preference for its lighter pick-up compared to his previous bat. He made the decision to switch after facing the fast and intense bowling of South Africa's Anrich Nortje during the summer.
He was quoted as saying by Yahoo sports, "It's a little bit lighter. (South Africa's) Anrich Nortje was bowling pretty fast through the summer, so I used a lighter bat. She didn't know it was gone, so it was fine,"
Starc and Healy have exchanged bats before too
While cleaning out his cricket bags at home, Starc discovered the lighter bat and promptly claimed ownership of it, leaving his wife with just two remaining bats. "I was cleaning out a few cricket bags at home, she was away on a tour. I said, 'you know there's three bats in this bag' and she didn't know, I said, 'there's two now, the other's in my bag!'" Starc added.
Interestingly, this isn't the first time Starc and Healy have exchanged bats. Both being sponsored by Kookaburra, they have shared their equipment in the past. Healy, for instance, utilized one of Starc's bats during the 2016-17 WBBL, delivering exceptional performances. However, the bat required some repair work after she accidentally trimmed off the end of the handle.
Fortunately, Healy's bat requires no modifications for Starc's use, aside from an additional grip to enhance his handling. This compatibility has allowed Starc to capitalize on his wife's bat and exhibit his skills on the field.