Mitchell Johnson declares its time to say goodbye

MITCHELL Johnson made a career out of terrorising opposition batsmen, but was given a guard of honour by the New Zealand players on his way to bat for the last time at the WACA.

The 34-year-old has earned respect worldwide for his aggressive nature with the ball.

That earned him 311 Test wickets going into his final day of cricket action, on day five of the second Test in Perth.

Before the game he announced this game could be his last, and he wasn't joking, breaking down in tears after day four upon informing his teammates about a decision he had contemplated for months.

The express paceman has announced his retirement from all forms of the game.

Only Dennis Lillee (355), Glenn McGrath (563) and Shane Warne (708) have taken more Test wickets in an Australian shirt.

But Johnson could only manage the unflattering figures of 1-157 in New Zealand's first innings of this Test, hastening his decision to pull stumps on a brilliant career.

"I feel now is the best time to say goodbye," Johnson said in a statement.

"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 (where the Queenslander now represents Western Australia) is very special."

Early last year Johnson was awarded the highest honour in Australian cricket, winning the Allan Border Medal as the country's best player.

Over the 2013/14 summer, he took a remarkable 59 wickets at an average of 15.23 in memorable series wins over England and South Africa.

He was also named the International Cricket Council's Test Player of the Year after those exploits.

"To win an Ashes series and a Cricket World Cup (earlier this year) is something I will treasure forever," he said.

"My family have been by my side throughout and I could not have achieved all I have without their support.

"I have been fortunate enough to play and work with some incredible people and have cemented lifelong friendships.

"I would certainly like to thank the people of Australia, and all those around the world, who have supported me."

There have been some lows though, most notably a loss of form during the 2010 Ashes series in England.

And a foot injury in 2011 forced him out of the game for a year.

"My career has certainly had its up and downs but I can honestly say I have given it my all and am proud of everything I have achieved," Johnson said.


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