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Mitchell Johnson calls it a day

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Mitchell Johnson has called time on his international career. He made the announcement in a statement through Cricket Australia that he intended to retire after the the current second Test match against New Zealand in Perth concludes.

Quoting Johnson: “I feel now is the best time to say goodbye. I have been lucky enough to have had a wonderful career and enjoyed every moment of playing for my country. It’s been an incredible ride. But the ride has to come to an end at some point and to do so here at the Waca is very special. I’ve given the decision a lot of thought. Beyond this match, I’m just not sure that I can continue competing consistently at the level required to wear the baggy green.”

Following the announcement, Johnson, as he emerged shortly before lunch at the Waca, received a guard of honour from his last professional opponents, the fielding New Zealand team, and also a stirring ovation from the crowd who came to watch the Oceania rivals take on each other.

This announcement brings down the curtain  on a career where Johnson became his country’s fourth highest Test wicket-taker with 313. He also scored 2,034 Test runs with a top score of 123 not out.

Johnson’s career has had its ups and downs – he even considered retirement in 2009 before somehow rejuvenating his passion for the game – but he will mostly be remembered as a fearsome bowler who terrorised batting line-ups across the world, most notably England during the 2013-14 Ashes series when he took 37 wickets. South Africa, is another victim who bore the brunt of Johnson’s destructive form that season. His tally for the two series was 59 wickets at an average of 15.23.

Johnson has been compared to his mentor Dennis Lillee not just for his mustachioed appearance but also for some of the most devastating fast bowling ever produced by an Australian.

There is a good chance many batsmen around the world will be breathing a sigh of relief as an aftermath of this announcement. Mitchell Johnson leaves the game as one of the all-time great bowlers.

Mitchell Johnson stat pack:

  •  played 153 one-day internationals for Australia, took 239 wickets at an average of 25.26 and a strike rate of 31.3
  • featured in 30 Twenty20 internationals during which he took 38 wickets.

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