I’ve bowled my final ball: Mitchell Johnson calls it quits

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MELBOURNE: Mitchell Johnson, who had retired from the Big Bash League earlier this year, has announced his decision not to continue in any other domestic Twenty20 league either, reported ICC. 

Writing in Perth Now, Johnson said, “It’s over. I’ve bowled my final ball. Taken my final wicket. Today I announce my retirement from all forms of cricket.”

Johnson, still only 36, played his last game for Australia in 2015, a drawn Test against New Zealand in Perth when he picked up three wickets. That took his tally in Tests to 313 from 73 Tests, to go with the 239 wickets he got in 153 one-day internationals and 38 in 30 T20 Internationals.

One of the more feared fast bowlers in recent years, Johnson continued to play T20 league cricket after leaving the international game but announced on 25 July this year that he wasn’t going to play any more cricket in the Big Bash League, where he represented Perth Scorchers.

At the time, Johnson’s manager Sam Halvorsen had told Australian media outlets that the paceman had put his name in the ring for the T10 league to help in the United Arab Emirates later this year.

That has changed, it appears, with Johnson writing, “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.”

Along with a battered speedster’s body, Johnson is mentally fatigued too. “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,” he wrote in an article titled ‘Why I’m retiring from all levels of cricket’.

“If I can’t play at 100 per cent then I can’t give my best to the team. And for me it’s always been about the team,” he added.

As for the next chapter in his life, Johnson didn’t rule out coaching, but wasn’t sure whether it will work out well or not.

“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,” he said.

“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.”