Melbourne: Aug 28, 2011
Australian pacer Mitchell Johnson has cut down on alcohol in his continuing effort to rebuild his career which was thrown off-track by a disappointing Ashes series earlier this year.
He abstained from alcohol for three months after Australia lost the series 1-3 in January and has been staying away from the bottle at regular intervals.
"I just wanted to make the most of the opportunity I've got playing for Australia," Johnson told the Sunday Telegraph.
"I'm not saying drinking affects the way I play, but I just wanted to give myself every chance, have my head clear.
It was something I wanted to test myself with as well, see if I could do the time, three months. It's pretty hard work when there are guys celebrating around you after you have a win," he said.
"It was just a personal thing more than anything to give it a go. I felt great."
Johnson said he even made a couple of his teammates to give up the bottle for a while.
"I got two of my mates to do it for a month not long ago and I did it with them before this trip," he said.
"We went away to Exmouth to do a bit of fishing and the boys were talking about their fat guts. During our last night in Exmouth I said, "Why don't you go a month without drinking?."
"They said, 'Yeah, all right'. One of the boys didn't make it. He got to about 20 days. The other mate did and I bought him a nice bottle of bourbon."
Johnson most recent booze ban was before the ODI series against Sri Lanka, which Australian went on to win.
"We won the one-day series after the fourth game and I had a few beers to celebrate and that was about it," he said.
"I still had a good night. We sat in the dressing room and celebrated. You don't get those nights back and you've got to make the most of them when you can. Not everyone gets the chance to sing the team song and sit down and talk about what went on throughout the series.
"I try to pick my moments. I've gone on tours and not drunk at all," he added.(PTI)