Perth: Retired Australian speedster Mitchell Johnson is all set to debut in the Big Bash League (BBL) after signing with the Perth Scorchers for the 2016-17 season here on Tuesday.
Johnson, who has played in the Indian Premier League (IPL) since his retirement last season from international cricket, said playing for the franchise will help him stay close to his community.
Johnson retired from all forms of international cricket in November 2015, having represented Australia in a total of 256 matches.
“I was never going anywhere else and always wanted to stay here and be part of the community. To be able to play for the Perth Scorchers, where I live and where I’m based, is perfect for me,” the 34-year-old left-armer was quoted as saying by espncricinfo.
“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’s become, not only from a spectators’ point of view but also from a player’s point of view. It’s really good to play and it’s only getting bigger and bigger.”
With Johnson’s inclusion, the franchise will not only gain a lot from his experience but also make up for the loss of veteran chinaman Brad Hogg, who moved to the Melbourne Renegades.
An excited Johnson said he wants to mentor the young bowlers in the team, who include the likes of left-armers Joel Paris and Jason Behrendorff.
“I’ll hopefully be able to guide these young guys in the right direction”.
“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,” Johnson said.