Former Australia fast bowler Mitchell Johnson has retired from the Big Bash League, with the extended season a major reason behind his decision. In 2018-19, the BBL teams will play 14 games prior to the finals, in what is a full home-and-away fixture.
Confirming his retirement from the cash-rich event, Johnson's manager Sam Halvorsen stated that the expanded version of the Twenty20 competition will be too demanding for the 36-year-old speedster.
"The intensity and length of the BBL is just too much for someone who will be 37 at the start of the summer," Halvorsen told The West Australian newspaper.
Last Week, Cricket Australia had disclosed the extended season of BBL 2018-19. The tournament will start in December and the final will be played in February. There will be 59 matches played in total, with each side playing each other twice (home and away).
Johnson, however, intends to play in the 10-over tournament, scheduled to be played in the UAE during the same period.
"Mitch has put his name up for the Emirates tournament in Dubai, but that is half the length of the BBL," Johnson's manager added.
Australia’s T20 superstars such as Shane Watson, Chris Lynn, James Faulkner and Ben Laughlin have already been picked in this week's "mini-draft" for the T10 tournament in Dubai. Reports claimed that Mitchell Johnson is among the pool of players for the “main draft” on September 2.
Johnson scalped 20 wickets at 22.75 in his two seasons at Perth Scorchers, and was a part of their 2016-17 title-winning team. He represented Australia in 73 Tests, claiming 313 wickets, the fourth most for an Australian, and also 239 ODI wickets in 153 matches. Johnson retired from international cricket in November 2015.