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Mitchell Johnson announces retirement from all forms of cricket

SYDNEY (Agencies): Australia left-arm pacer Mitchell Johnson has announced his retirement from all forms of cricket. The 36-year-old, who went on to play in T20 tournaments across the globe after quitting international cricket in November 2015, last played in this year’s IPL for the Kolkata Knight Riders.

“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 in a column on Perth Now. “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.”

Johnson revealed he had been suffering from back problems during the IPL and added that it was an indication for him to call time. Snapped up by the Knight Riders for INR 2 crores (USD 286,000 approx) this year, Johnson did not have a memorable season as he gave away 216 runs in six games and picked only two wickets.

“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,” he said. “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.”

Johnson had called time on his Big Bash League career with Perth Scorchers last month and had pulled out of his commitments with Karachi Kings in the Pakistan Super League earlier this year. Since his international retirement, he has picked 31 wickets in 33 games at an economy of 7.28 in T20s.

Contrasting to his IPL performance, Johnson was in good form this BBL season, taking 20 wickets in 19 games at an average of 22.75 and economy rate of 6.14. He had also led Scorchers to the title in the 2016-17 season, finishing with figures of 1 for 13 in the final against the Sydney Sixers. He had finished that season as their highest wicket-taker with 13 wickets from nine matches and an economy rate of 5.91.

“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’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.

He indicated he would continue his association with the game by taking up coaching roles in the future. “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.”

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