Perth - Australia fast bowler Mitchell Johnson has announced that he will retire from all forms of international cricket at the end of Tuesday’s second Test against New Zealand in Perth.
Johnson, 34, the country’s fourth highest Test wicket-taker, informed his team-mates of his decision last night, saying that after 73 Tests he felt it was the right time to walk away from the game.
“I feel now is the best time to say goodbye,” Johnson said.
“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.
“My career has certainly had its up and downs but I can honestly say I have given it my all and am proud of everything I have achieved. To win an Ashes Series and a Cricket World Cup is something I will treasure forever.
“My family have been by my side throughout and I could not have achieved all I have without their support. They have made a lot of sacrifices, especially my beautiful wife Jess who has provided me with unconditional support, and I am incredibly grateful for that.
“They say the greatest thing about playing sport is the friends you make along the way and I have been fortunate enough to play and work with some incredible people and have cemented lifelong friendships.
“I would certainly like to thank the people of Australia, and all those around the world, who have supported me. The encouragement I have received has been extremely humbling and playing in front of them is certainly something I will miss.”
Johnson enters the final day of the Test on 311 Test wickets and sits behind only Dennis Lillee (355), Glenn McGrath (563) and Shane Warne (708) on the list of Australia’s greatest wicket-takers.
Cricket Australia chairperson David Peever paid tribute to Johnson for his outstanding Test career which began in 2007 at the Gabba and reached its peak in the summer of 2013/14 when his speed and aggression saw him claim 59 wickets in eight Tests against England and South Africa at 15.23. It led to Johnson winning his first Allan Border Medal at the age of 32.
Peever said: “Dennis Lillee was certainly right many years ago when he identified a young Mitchell Johnson as a future great of Australian cricket.
“In many ways the sight of Mitchell as a moustached tearaway conjured memories of Lillee at his peak, not just in appearance, but for some of the most devastating fast bowling ever produced by an Australian.
“There have been countless highlights, but no one will ever forget his incredible performance in the 2013/14 Ashes when he took that series by storm, only to repeat those efforts soon after in the history-making win over South Africa in South Africa.
“I am sure there are many batsmen around the world breathing a sigh of relief right now, knowing that they no longer have to face him.
“He leaves the game as one of our all-time great bowlers and as an excellent example to young Australians about what they can achieve through hard work and dedication to their chosen craft.
“We thank Mitchell for his outstanding service to the game and wish him, wife Jessica and daughter Rubika the very best for life beyond cricket.”
Mitchell Johnson's career in numbers:
- 73 Tests
- 313 wickets
- High score 123*
- Bowling average of 28.4 and strike rate of 51.1
- Best figures: 8-61 v South Africa, WACA, 17 December 2008
- 153 matches
- 239 wickets
- High score of 73*
- Bowling average of 25.26 and strike rate of 31.3