Johnson calls time on BBL career

25 July 2018

Aussie pace ace opts out of extended Big Bash season but looks to UAE's T10 competition

Mitchell Johnson will not return to the Perth Scorchers for this summer's BBL season after confirming he has played his last top-flight game in Australia.

He will, however, continue to ply his trade on the T20 domestic circuit internationally and is one of a handful of Australians vying for a spot in a 10-over tournament to be played in the UAE.

Johnson, who will turn 37 in early November, has opted against returning for Perth as the competition switches to a full home-and-away season with 14 games, plus finals.

"The intensity and length of the BBL is just too much for someone who will be 37 at the start of the summer," Johnson's manager, Sam Halvorsen, told The West Australian newspaper.

"Mitch has put his name up for the Emirates tournament in Dubai, but that is half the length of the BBL."

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His last game was Perth’s defeat to Hobart in last summer’s semi-final at the Optus Stadium. Johnson had finished his Test career at the WACA in 2015 against New Zealand, opting to retire rather than play the inaugural day-night Test that followed.

The move will also put his IPL future in doubt. The lucrative tournament in April-May also features a 14-game season, plus finals.

The left-arm speedster played six games for Kolkata Knight Riders in this year's IPL after he was bought by the franchise for A$388,000, but took just two wickets with an economy of more than 10 per over.

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Johnson played the past two seasons for Perth following his retirement from international cricket, and was instrumental in their BBL|06 title campaign, stunning the Melbourne Stars with 3-3 in the semi-final, and taking 1-13 in the final as Perth trounced Sydney Sixers.

A veteran of 73 Tests with 313 wickets to his name and a place in Ashes folklore after monstering England in an unforgettable 2013-14 whitewash, Johnson had been on a year-by-year contract with the Scorchers.

Four Australians have already been confirmed to play in the T10 league in the UAE which is scheduled for 28 matches across 10 days in early December that will precede the BBL|08 season.

Shane Watson, Chris Lynn, James Faulkner and Ben Laughlin were selected in this week's "mini-draft" in Dubai, with Johnson among the pool of players for the main draft on September 2.

This year's tournament has been expanded to eight clubs, with other BBL regulars such as Rashid Khan, Brendon McCullum, Colin Ingram, David Willey, Dwayne Bravo and Jofra Archer all to feature.

Lynn and McCullum will continue their Bash Brothers global tour by playing together in the Rajputs franchise.

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Perth Scorchers

Mitchell Johnson