Mitchell Johnson on his retirement from international cricket :
Perth : Australian fast bowler, Mitchell Johnson aged 34 years has just announced his retirement from all forms of International Cricket at the end of the ongoing second Test against New Zealand which has been drawn after the end of 5 days today.
Johnson enters the list of highest wicket -takers with Dennis Lillee (355) taking 311 Test wickets, Glenn McGrath (563) and Shane Warne (708)are on the list of Australian greatest wicket-takers all time.
“I feel now is the best time to say goodbye,” Johnson said in a Cricket Australia (CA) Statement.
“I’m really happy with my decision and I just lost that hunger in the end to play out on those tough days, that’s where my decision came,” Johnson said, watched by his wife Jessica, captain Steven Smith, and teammates Mitchell Starc and Nathan Lyon. “That’s something I used to really enjoy about Test cricket, the challenge of those really difficult days out there and I just wasn’t enjoying it out there”.
“The first innings bowling was my final decision. Spoke to Jess my wife about it and my manager Sam and Smithy and Boof and spoke to the boys and let them know last night that I was finishing up in all forms. It’s something I’ve been thinking about for a year now to be honest, on and off. The World Cup I thought that was a good time to go out in one day cricket but also with young guys in the team I also felt like I could help them through. But ultimately I felt like I couldn’t compete at this level any more and lost that hunger.”
“I spoke to him in the six weeks I had home before this series and he said I at least had another three or four more years left in me,” Johnson said.
“That was something I remember Brett Lee talking about before his retirement. He said basically he just wanted to bowl fast and if he ever got to the point where he couldn’t bowl fast than he was done as well, so I felt like I was on that wave length as well, but we had a pretty good discussion about it. I sent him a message this morning and he’s been a huge part of my career.”
“Definitely there was a part of me that struggled after Phillip’s death and probably affected me for a long time and probably still does,” he said.
“Wickets are definitely getting harder and harder and flatter but it might have played a little part day in and day out, some days you feel like a bowling machine. But I really did enjoy the challenge even though sometimes it felt like an unfair advantage to batters. Never complained about it, and always gave it 100 per cent.”
“I felt like I hadn’t given my best at that stage in my career and felt like I had a lot to give. The last couple of years were really exciting for me and just became really confident in my ability and in my action. Learn to become more comfortable in myself. Wasn’t content but just knew what I needed to do and what it took to be your best. It was an exciting time throughout my career and something I will always cherish and always have those memories.”