Australian Mitchell Johnson has announced his retirement from international cricket during the fifth day of the second Test of the current series against New Zealand at Perth on Tuesday. Johnson finished with 311 Test wickets, the fourth highest in the history of Australian cricket.
“I feel now is the best time to say goodbye,” an emotional 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.”
Following Cricket Australia’s announcement earlier on Tuesday morning, the Kiwis side gave him a guard of honor. He received a standing ovation from the spectators at WACA Ground after his short innings ended before lunch.
The 34-year-old was a shadow of his glorious past in this Perth Test. He lost his venom in the recent past. Johnson picked up one for 157 in this Test, the most runs conceded by any Australian bowler at Waca, Perth.
Johnson leapfrogged Brett Lee’s 310 scalps in the current series after taking Doug Bracewell’s wicket to stop at 311 in 73 Tests. Shane Warne with 708, Glenn McGrath with 563 and Dennis Lillee with 355 wickets are ahead of him in the history of Aussie Test bowlers.
He followed the footsteps of Michael Clarke, Brad Haddin, Ryan Harris, Chris Rogers and Shane Watson, who all quit after Australia bowed down in the recent Ashes series at England. The Test is heading towards a draw with New Zealand requiring 304 more to win, having all their wickets intact before tea, while this report was drafted.