Mitchell Johnson won’t play in the KFC BBL this season, to spend the summer resting his body and spending time with his family.
Johnson’s international retirement last month raised the prospect of him playing in the BBL for the very first time. WACA chief Matthews said last month that Johnson had given indications that he was keen to play for defending champions Perth Scorchers, his hometown club.
But Johnson’s management confirmed on Friday that he will sit out this season’s competition, but would explore the option of playing next summer.
“(It) is a real shame because I think everyone in Australia was hoping he’d play,”
Justin Langer told 6PR on Thursday.
“And I really respect where he’s at. He retired for a reason and he won’t be playing.”
Head of the Big Bash League Everard said the quality of BBL 05 would surpass that seen in the previous 4 seasons.
“We would have been delighted to have a player of Mitch’s quality involved,”
Head of BBL told cricket.com.au.
While the Scorchers won’t have Johnson on their side, the defending champions boast one of the best playing rosters in the competition.
Having won the past 2 titles and played in all 4 BBL finals, Perth Scorchers will be strengthened this year by big-hitting English all-rounder David Willey, who arrived in Perth on Thursday. A major hurdle for Perth Scorchers this summer will be the unavailability of some of their leading players due to injury and national duty.
Captain Voges, brothers Shaun Marsh and Mitchell Marsh as well as fast-bowler Coulter-Nile are all currently involved with the Australian Test squad, while Coulter-Nile, Mitch Marsh and Ashton Agar are in the frame for a call-up during Australia’s white-ball series’ against India in January.
Fast-bowler Jason Behrendorff – the domestic player of the year last season – is also currently sidelined with a back injury, but is hopeful of returning during BBL 05.
Perth Scorchers open their season on December 21 against the Adelaide Strikers at home.