It's official – Mitchell Johnson will play in the next KFC Big Bash League after his signature was today confirmed by the Perth Scorchers.
Johnson had long been hinting he was leaning towards a return to Australian domestic cricket but the confirmation of his signing adds a new level of excitement … unless you're ex-Scorcher Brad Hogg.
Johnson said he would target the former Scorcher who abandoned Perth to sign with the Melbourne Renegades for BBL|06.
"Hoggy always used to text me before we played in the IPL to remind me to bowl at the stumps … We will just have to see about that," Johnson told Seven West Media.
Quick Single: Hogg joins the Renegades
Johnson, who lives in Perth, said the Scorchers were the only team he was interested in, despite being heavily recruited by the Brisbane Heat, who Johnson had been signed to for several seasons at the peak of his powers but never played for amidst his international commitments.
Now a T20 gun for hire, Johnson said he was more interested in mixing "fun" with mentoring Perth's squad of promising young quicks including fellow left-armers Joel Paris and Jason Behrendorff.
"I'll hopefully be able to guide these young guys in the right direction," Johnson said.
"I want to be a mentor and bowl alongside these guys.
"I want to be involved in the coaching side of things which has become a bit more of a focus for me.
"I also want to enjoy it and have some fun."
But what constitutes "fun" for Johnson promises to be anything but for opposition batsmen. The bowler who set the world alight with his fast-paced, short-pitched intimidation and demolition of England during the 2013 Ashes is planning to bring the same strategy to the Big Bash.
"I am a fast bowler and I still get the greatest thrill from bowling fast," Johson said.
"I have always loved fast bowling and want to keep going. And that is still the best way to bowl at the WACA Ground so I am pretty sure that will be my role.
"Four overs will do me. There is not such a focus on recovery and ice baths and meetings and I might be able to just bowl fast and have some fun."
Quick Single: Renegades seal stars for BBL|06
The Scorchers also confirmed Australia women's international Elyse Villani had resigned for the second Women's Big Bash League season.
The re-signing is a coup for the Perth club looking to better their semi-final appearance in last summer's maiden WBBL season.
Meanwhile, in Sydney, the reigning BBL and WBBL champions, the Thunder have re-signed three core players from their men's team.
Last season's leading wicket-taker Clint McKay has extended his association with the club until the end of BBL|07, as has young off-spinner Chris Green.
Veteran batsman Aiden Blizzard has signed a new one-year deal with the club that has seen an upsurge in memberships following last year's title-winning season.
"There's a great culture at the Thunder, on and off the field," said McKay who is currently in England playing county cricket for Leicestershire.
"I loved every minute of last season but beating the Stars at the MCG to lift the trophy is a day I'll never forget.
"We've had a few retirements but it's still a very talented squad, with some very exciting young players coming through."
Current BBL|06 Squads
Adelaide Strikers: Travis Head, Brad Hodge, Jon Holland, Hamish Kingston, Tim Ludeman, Kieron Pollard, Adil Rashid, Kane Richardson, Craig Simmons, Kelvin Smith, Billy Stanlake.
Brisbane Heat: Samuel Badree, Joe Burns, Ben Cutting, Alex Doolan, Andrew Fekete, Luke Feldman, Jason Floros, Sam Heazlett, Josh Lalor, Chris Lynn, Brendon McCullum, James Peirson, Nathan Reardon, Alex Ross, Mark Steketee, Mitchell Swepson, Jack Wildermuth.
Hobart Hurricanes: George Bailey, Cameron Boyce, Dan Christian, Ben Dunk, Ben McDermott, Dominic Michael, Simon Milenko, Tim Paine, Sam Rainbird, Jake Reed, Clive Rose, Kumar Sangakkara, Shaun Tait, Jonathan Wells.
Melbourne Renegades: Dwyane Bravo, Tom Cooper, Xavier Doherty, Callum Ferguson, Aaron Finch, Marcus Harris, Brad Hogg, James Pattinson, Nathan Rimmington, Peter Siddle, Chris Tremain, Matthew Wade, Cameron White, Nick Winter.
Melbourne Stars: Michael Beer, Scott Boland, James Faulkner, Sebastian Gotch, Evan Gulbis, Peter Handscomb, Sam Harper, John Hastings, Ben Hilfenhaus, David Hussey, Glenn Maxwell, Kevin Pietersen, Rob Quiney, Marcus Stoinis, Tom Triffitt, Daniel Worrall, Luke Wright, Adam Zampa.
Perth Scorchers: Ashton Agar, Cameron Bancroft, Jason Behrendorff, Mitchell Johnson, Michael Klinger, James Muirhead, Joel Paris, Ashton Turner, Andrew Tye, Sam Whiteman.
Sydney Sixers: Sean Abbott, Jackson Bird, Johan Botha, Ryan Carters, Ben Dwarshuis, Brad Haddin, Josh Hazlewood, Moises Henriques, Nathan Lyon, Nic Maddinson, Stephen O'Keefe, Jordan Silk, Mitchell Starc.
Sydney Thunder: Fawad Ahmed, Aiden Blizzard, Patrick Cummins, Jake Doran, Ryan Gibson, Chris Green, Usman Khawaja, Alister McDermott, Clint McKay, Kurtis Patterson, Ben Rohrer, Gurinder Sandhu, Shane Watson.