Sport Cricket ‘Once in a generation’ talent Mitchell Johnson retires from all cricket

‘Once in a generation’ talent Mitchell Johnson retires from all cricket

MItchell Johnson played 153 ODIs, including against Bangladesh in 2006. Photo: Getty
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Australian Test pace bowling great Mitchell Johnson has announced his retirement from playing all levels of cricket.

Johnson, 36, said he had hoped to continue playing in Twenty20 competitions around the world but his body was “shutting down” and some back problems during the Indian Premier League had reinforced that it was time to finish.

“It’s over. I’ve bowled my final ball. Taken my final wicket,” Johnson wrote on Perth Now.

“Today I announce my retirement from all forms of cricket.

Johnson, 36, had hoped to continue playing BBL with Perth Heat. Photo: Getty

“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 had previously ruled out playing in the upcoming Big Bash League, saying the expanded format with all teams playing 14 games – up from 10 – in the regular season was too demanding for him.

“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,” Johnson wrote.

“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.”

The Townsville-born Johnson played 73 Tests for Australia, claiming 313 wickets, and also played 153 one-day internationals before retiring from international cricket in 2015.

The only cricketer other than Ricky Ponting to have won the ICC Player of the Year twice (2009 and 2014), Johnson scored 2065 Test runs at an average of 22.20 with one century, an unbeaten 123 against South Africa at Cape Town in 2009.

He was discovered by Dennis Lillee as a raw 17-year-old, describing him as a “once-in-a-lifetime prospect”.

Umpire Marais Erasmus gives Johnson time to think. Photo: Getty