Regarded as one of the best left-arm pace bowlers of his generation, Aussie Mitchell Johnson on Tuesday announced his retirement from international cricket.
He will wear the baggy green for the last time today in the fifth day of second Test between Australia and New Zealand.
Johnson, 34, said before the start of the fifth and final day’s play at Western Australian Cricket Association ground, “I feel now is the best time to say goodbye. I have been lucky enough to have had a wonderful career and enjoyed every moment of playing for my country. It’s been an incredible ride. But the ride has to come to an end at some point and to do so here at the WACA is very special.”
Former Australia captain Mark Taylor hinted at the possibility of Johnson hanging his boot, obviously referring to the bowler’s comment made before the start of the Test.
Townsville-born Queenslander added, “I’ve given the decision a lot of thought. Beyond this match, I’m just not sure that I can continue competing consistently at the level required to wear the baggy green (cap).”
After making his One-Day International debut in December 2015 against New Zealand, Johnson went onto play 72 ODI matches, taking 239 wickets at an average of 25.26, including three five-wicket hauls.
He made his Test debut in November 2007, against Sri Lanka. In 72 matches, he took 310 wickets at an average of 28.10. He had three ten-wicket hauls in match.
As one of the mainstay of Australian pace attack, Johnson featured in two successful World Cup campaigns, in 2015 and 2007.
“My career has certainly had its up and downs but I can honestly say I have given it my all and am proud of everything I have achieved. To win an Ashes series and a World Cup is something I will treasure forever.”
He was named the International Cricket Council’s Test Player of the Year in 2014, to add to the ICC Player of the Year honour he received in 2009.
“My family have been by my side throughout and I could not have achieved all I have without their support. They have made a lot of sacrifices, especially my beautiful wife Jess who has provided me with unconditional support, and I am incredibly grateful for that,” Johnson said.
He is yet another big name Australian who has called time on international cricket in recent time. After a disastrous Ashes tour in England, former captain Michael Clarke, Brad Haddin, Ryan Harris and Chris Rogers have all quit.
However, he is likely to be part of the Indian Premier League.