Mitchell Johnson, the retired Australian pacer, will feature in his first Big Bash League (BBL) season, as the Perth Scorchers confirmed the 34-year-old’s signature on Tuesday (August 2). Despite having been part of Brisbane Heat’s squad for several season before, Johnson hasn’t had the opportunity to play in the T20 tournament, owing to his national commitments. With international cricket off his plate, the timing seems right for the decorated Australian star to take the plunge.
“It’s exciting to be able to play Twenty20 cricket. A lot of the boys have told me about the Big Bash and how good it has become, not only from a spectators point of view but also from a players point of view. It’s really good to play and it’s only getting bigger and bigger,” Johnson said.
“Four overs will do me. There is not such a focus on recovery and ice baths and meetings and I might be able to just bowl fast and have some fun,” he added.
Signing for the Scorchers also allows Johnson to not just connected with the game post his retirement, but also turn out for the team that is based in the city of his residence. Reportedly, several other teams were vying for the fiery pacer but Johnson’s heart was set on Scorchers.
“I was never going anywhere else and always wanted to stay here and be part of the community,” Johnson said. “To be able to play for the Perth Scorchers, where I live and where I’m based, is perfect for me.”
While a move of this magnitude will excite the home fans and soften the blow caused by Brad Hogg’s departure to Melbourne Renegades, the young squad is also set to benefit from it. Young fast bowlers like Joel Paris and Jason Behrendorff will be eager to link up with Johnson and pick his brains. Johnson, on his part, too is eager to help the younger guys in the side.
“I’ll hopefully be able to guide these young guys in the right direction,” Johnson said. “I want be a mentor and bowl alongside these guys. I want to be involved in the coaching side of things which has become a bit more of a focus for me. I also want to enjoy it and have some fun.”
The sixth edition of the BBL will begin in December.
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