Mitchell Johnson has decided to retire from all forms on cricket close to a month after he announced that he wouldn’t be turning out for Perth Scorchers in the Big Bash League 2018/19.
“It’s over. I’ve bowled my final ball. Taken my final wicket. Today I announce my retirement from all forms of cricket,” wrote in an article for Perth Now.
Johnson had retired from international cricket in 2015 after a Test against New Zealand in Perth. The fast bowler, with one of the most fearsome short deliveries in the game, bowed out from the longest format with 313 wickets from 73 matches.
Johnson was a force to be reckoned with in international white-ball cricket too. He picked up 239 ODI wickets from 153 matches and 38 T20I scalps from 30 games. He was an integral part of Australia’s team during their successful World Cup campaign at home in 2015, taking 15 wickets from eight matches. That was to be Johnson’s last limited-overs international assignment.
Johnson continued playing in T20 leagues across the world, and was in talks to feature in the T10 league in the UAE later this year as well. But those plans appear to have been scrapped as the 36-year-old feels his body can’t bear the load of fast bowling any longer. The mental pressure of it all started weighing him down as well.
“I had hoped to continue playing in various Twenty20 competitions around the world until perhaps the middle of next year. But the fact is my body is starting to shut down,” he wrote.
“During this year’s Indian Premier League tournament I had a few back problems and that was probably a sign that it was time to move on.
“When I sat down with new Perth Scorchers coach Adam Voges recently to discuss my future, he was interested in me playing on again this summer. I did believe I could still be helpful around the playing group with my experience. But I think mentally I’m done as well.”
Having shut all doors on his playing career, Johnson is now looking at options for the future. He remains keen on being involved with the game, with coaching as the obvious route, but he’s not sure how good he’ll be in that role.
“My competitive urge hasn’t left me and hopefully that’s something I can use to channel into a coaching or mentoring role in the future. I’m a believer in sticking to your strengths and cricket is my strength,” wrote Johnson.
“I don’t know if I’ll be any good at it. I’ve got a lot of experience in cricket and no experience in coaching officially, though I did help out at Wanneroo last summer and I’ve always enjoyed working with young players.”
When it came to recalling stand-out moments, it came as no surprise that Johnson made special mention of the 2013/14 season, including a home Ashes in which he picked 37 wickets to batter England 5-0.
“Now it’s all over, the stand-out memories include the 2013/14 Ashes summer, the South African tours — including my only Test century in Cape Town in 2009 — and the World Cups.”