“It’s Over” – Mitchell Johnson retires from all forms of cricket
The world has seen the last of Mitchell Johnson as an active cricketer (Getty Images)

Former Australia fast bowler Mitchell Johnson, who retired from international cricket in 2015, has confirmed that he is walking away from all forms of cricket. Johnson had last month called time on his career with Big Bash League side Perth Scorchers but was open to the possibility of playing the IPL and other domestic T20 leagues.

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

In 19 games, Johnson picked up 20 wickets for the Scorchers at an economy rate of 6.14 and average of 22.75. Last year, Johnson had recorded stunning figures of 3/3 in four overs during the semi-final against Melbourne Stars and 1/13 against Sydney Sixers in the final. His effort was pivotal in Scorchers securing their third BBL title and had finished the season with 13 wickets from nine games.

A constant in the IPL, Johnson last played for Kolkata Knight Riders after the franchise invested Rs. 2 crore in him. With a troubled back, Johnson endured a below-par season where he played six matches, giving away 216 runs and bagging just two wickets. Johnson admitted that walking away from T20 was a tough call but a correct one nonetheless.

“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. I’d like to thank the Scorchers for the last two fantastic summers and the WACA for everything my adopted cricket home has done for me over the past decade,” Johnson said.

“Christina Matthews and the team there have always bent over backwards to help me out. A huge thank you to the fans as well. I will never forget the atmosphere at the WACA Ground or the smiling faces of the kids. 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.”

Johnson, who will turn 37 later this year, pointed out that he is looking forward to the next few chapters of his life, one of which may be to take up a coaching role somewhere down the line.

“I’m ready to break clear of playing cricket and move on to the next period of my life. 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,” the left-armer added.

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.”

Johnson is a veteran of 73 Tests in which he’s taken 313 wickets. He played a key role in Australia’s 5-0 hammering of England during the 2013 return Ashes. He was also named the ICC Cricketer of the Year in 2009.