Former Australian pacer Mitchell Johnson announces his retirement from all forms of cricket. In an article in Perth Now on Saturday, he writes that his “body is starting to shut down”. He recalls that he had hoped to play until the middle of next year but back injuries in this year’s Indian Premier League (IPL) were a sign for him to hang his boots.

His decision to call an end to his playing days comes three years after he retired from international cricket. Earlier this year, he quit Perth Scorchers after the Big Bash League (BBL) was extended from 10 to 14 league games. The left-arm fast bowler writes of his conversation with Scorchers’ coach Adam Voges which made him realize that he was “mentally done too”.

“If I can’t play at 100 percent then I can’t give my best to the team. And for me it’s always been about the team”, he writes in a heartfelt article to announce his retirement.

Indicating his future endeavors, he suggested that he would be available for coaching or mentoring roles even though, he has no prior coaching experience.

“My competitive urge hasn’t left me and hopefully that’s something I can use to channel into a coaching or mentoring role in the future. I’m a believer in sticking to your strengths and cricket is my strength. I don’t know if I’ll be any good at it. I’ve got a lot of experience in cricket and no experience in coaching officially, though I did help out at Wanneroo last summer and I’ve always enjoyed working with young players.”, he wrote.

The left-arm seamer is considered as one of the best fast bowlers Australia has ever produced. He was discovered by fast bowling legend Dennis Lillee at the age of 17 at a fast bowling clinic. Lillee called him “once-in-nine-lives prospect.” He made his Australian Test debut in 2007 and ODI debut in 2005.

Recounting his stand-out performances, he singles out the 2013/14 Ashes series, South African tours – his lone Test century at Cape Town in 2009 and the World Cups.

The recipient of two ‘ICC Cricketer of the Year’ awards, he says he values his mates and the camaraderie more than awards and achievement. Joking about the fast bowling cartel and spinner Nathan Lyon, he writes – “We all lead separate lives once we retire but I’m determined to keep catching up for a beer. Especially with the fast bowlers such as Ryan Harris and Peter Siddle. And you can throw in Nathan Lyon”.

Fellow Australian pacer Pat Cummins congratulated the great on Twitter.

Johnson moved to Perth a decade ago to live with his wife Jessica and calls it ‘home’. He started his domestic career in Queensland. He decides to settle in Perth and build better connections with the community having traveled for much of the time.

Being a motorsport lover, he says he will devote his time to following Formula One and MotoGP. Not being a big footy fan, he still has to decide his loyalties when it comes to the AFL (Australian Football League).

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