Mitchell Johnson set to play for Perth Scorchers in Big Bash League
Mitchell Johnson, the former Australian pacer, is set to play for Perth Scorchers in the upcoming edition of the Big Bash League. Johnson, after the completion of this year’s IPL, was in contact with his former Australian teammate and Scorchers’ coach Justin Langer for the past one month.
Johnson will join the likes of Nathan Coulter-Nile, Joel Paris, Andrew Tye and Jason Behrendorff to bolster the Scorchers’ bowling attack. With the first match to be held in late-December, the management need to fill in one local and one international slot to complete their line-up.
Owing to international commitments and/or injuries, the 34-year old has never played in the Big Bash yet. He will replace Brad Hogg, who made a move to Melbourne Renegades in BBL-06. Johnson is reported to have signed a one-year contract for the time being, and will take a call on future contracts later. Langer lamented the fact that the 45-year old had moved to Melbourne, but added that Hogg had a future in the Perth franchise in various roles in the next 5-10 years.
Ahead of the first Test between Australia and Sri Lanka, Johnson had indicated about representing the Perth franchise. Talking to Fox Sports, he said: “I'm probably going to sign with the Scorchers, I'm here at the WACA today and I'll speak to Justin Langer and the WACA staff and go from there,"
The Brisbane Heat had been on the look-out to sign the left-armer for a number of seasons, but his participation never panned, out owing to Johnson’s prior commitments. He took 313 wickets in 72 Tests, retiring from international cricket after the WACA Test last year as the fourth highest Test wicket-taker for Australia. He played just three matches for Kings XI Punjab in this edition of the Indian Premier League, picking up two wickets.
“The Big Bash is a pretty awesome tournament, a lot of the boys talk about how much fun they have and the ratings for it have been huge," Johnson had said earlier. He said that talks with Langer have helped him rediscover the “fire in his belly.”
"The way Justin (Langer) has put it to me in the conversations we've had is he wants me to go out there and have some fun”, he added.