Australian fast bowling spearhead Mitchell Johnson has confirmed his retirement from all international cricket after the conclusion of the current Test against New Zealand at the WACA – Johnson’s 73rd appearance in the Baggy Green.
“I feel now is the best time to say goodbye,” the 34-year-old said in a press release.
“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.”
Johnson edged ahead of Brett Lee on Day 3 of the Perth clash as Australia’s fourth-highest Test wicket-taker with 311, although he may add to that tally during the Black Caps’ second innings.
Shane Warne (708), Glenn McGrath (563) and Dennis Lillee (355) – who discovered Johnson as a 17-year-old – are the only players above Johnson, while the fearsome quick ranks 25th on the all-time wicket-takers list from all nations.
Townsville-born Johnson made his Test debut as a 26-year-old at the Gabba in 2007, quickly emerging as one of the most intimidating bowlers in world cricket. His 11 wickets at the WACA against South Africa in 2008 saw him attain star status.
He endured a few troughs, left out of the 2013 squad to tour England after an indifferent run of form, but he left an indelible mark on the Ashes narrative. Just months after that snub, Johnson helped reclaimed the urn on home soil with one of the most devastating series ever produced by a fast bowler, picking up 37 wickets in the 5-0 rout to eventually claim the Allan Border Medal.
The big-hitting Johnson enjoyed some memorable moments at the crease and at his best was virtually considered an all-rounder. His only Test century was a memorable 123 not out against the Proteas at Cape Town in 2009, but he managed 11 half-centuries in 107 innings at an average of 22.35.
Johnson also made his presence felt in limited overs internationals, taking 239 wickets in 153 matches at 25.26, and notching two 50s in 91 innings. He was part of Australia’s triumphant World Cup side earlier this year.