SYDNEY,(AP/UNB) – Australia fast bowler Mitchell Johnson, who struck fear into batsmen around the world but especially on the bouncy pitches of his homeland, has announced his retirement from cricket saying his body is “shutting down” after years of punishment.Johnson, 36, had hoped to continue playing in some international Twenty20 tournaments but said the back problems he endured during this year’s Indian Premier League had confirmed it was time to retire.
“It’s over. I’ve bowled my final ball, taken my final wicket,” Johnson said. “Today I announce my retirement from all forms of cricket.
“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.”
Johnson previously announced he wouldn’t play in Australia’s Twenty20 Big Bash League because the new schedule had become too demanding.
“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,” he said.
“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.”
Johnson took 313 wickets in 73 tests at an average of 28.40 and 239 wickets in 153 one-day internationals at 25.26. Under-rated as an all rounder, he also scored more than 2,000 test runs at an average of 22 with a century and 11 half centuries.
The left armer was the spearhead of the Australia pace attack for most of his career which stretched, punctuated by injuries, from 2007 to 2015. He brought all the skills of the top fast bower: pace, swing, bounce and seam but he added to that the belligerence which inspires the best quicks and cows batsmen.
His was a career of ups and downs but at his best he was unquestionably the most feared and successful bowler of his generation.
His career had its peak in the 2013-2014 season when, in eight tests against England and South Africa, he took 59 wickets at an average of 15.23.
Johnson said he hopes to find a new role in coaching as cricket is the only thing he knows.”I don’t know if I’ll be any good at it,” he said. “I’ve got a lot of experience in cricket and no experience in coaching officially…
“Now it’s all over the stand-out memories include the 2012-2014 Ashes summer, the South African tours, including my only test century in Cape Town in 2009, and the World Cups.
“I saw more highs and lows than most cricketers and I’m proud that I was able to fight back from adversity in the latter part of my career and produce consistent performances.”At my best I felt like I was meant to be out there and I didn’t have to force anything. It just happened.”UNB