Former Australia fast bowler Mitchell Johnson has announced his decision to retire from all forms of cricket. Here is what the pacer had to say after retiring from all forms of cricket.
It’s over. I’ve bowled my final ball. Taken my final wicket. Today I announce my retirement from all forms of cricket.
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.
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. I did believe I could still be helpful around the playing group with my experience. But I think mentally I’m done as well.
I’m ready to break clear of playing cricket and move on to the next period of my life. He has recently been through retiring himself and I think he understood that when you’re done, you’re done.
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. 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.
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.
Now it’s all over, the stand-out memories include the 2013/14 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. I made mistakes and I learnt from them.
Slipping a long way down the pecking order as I battled a serious toe injury didn’t deter me. I’d already lost my Queensland contract as a youngster and I knew what it felt like.
I also knew that I could make it back. It wasn’t that I thought I could. I knew that I could play for Australia again if I worked hard and really wanted it.
At my best, I felt like I was meant to be out there and I didn’t have to force anything. It just happened.
My manager recently reminded me I had won the ICC Cricketer of the Year twice. But more than the games, the trophies and achievements, I remember my close mates and miss the camaraderie.
Achieving things with your closest friends makes it even more thrilling. I was fortunate to play alongside some of the all-time greats of the game. When I sit back and reflect I don’t ever want to lose those memories.
We all lead separate lives once we retire but I’m determined to keep catching up for a beer. Especially with the fast bowlers such as Ryan Harris and Peter Siddle. And you can throw in Nathan Lyon.
I’ll always be a proud Queenslander but WA is home now.
I moved to Perth a decade ago to be with my now wife Jessica and play for the Warriors and now I’m finished playing it remains the perfect place to raise our family.
I headed home to Townsville recently for my brother’s 30th birthday and it was nice to catch up with family and friends. The place has changed. The humidity hasn’t.
Perth might have been ‘home’ for 10 years, but having spent so much of that time travelling away I’m hopeful I can now build better connections with the community here.
Outside of cricket, I’m a big motorsport fan and I probably follow Formula One and MotoGP more than any other sport. I’m a Cowboys man when it comes to the NRL, but I still don’t have an AFL team.
I would like to get into the footy more but I’m still sitting on the fence when it comes to the western derby rivalry. Maybe when I’ve decided I’ll truly be a West Aussie.