Australia’s leading pace bowler in the last few Test series, Mitchell Johnson, has decided to give the lucrative Indian Premier League the miss and instead concentrate on staying fit for national duty.
Johnson could have fetched something in the region of $800,000 in the IPL auction on February 6 but said playing the league was not his priority.
Johnson, who skipped the inaugural IPL to improve his fitness and cement his place in the Australian team, has been the pick of the bowlers and was the leading wicket-taker for his country in the series against India, New Zealand and most recently South Africa.
“We decided not to go last year because he wanted to get fit and build his strength and consolidate his place in the Australian team,” Johnson’s manager Sam Halvorsen said.
“You would have to say, looking back now, it worked effectively. With that same thing in mind we want to protect his long-term interests and I don’t see that will be served by playing the IPL and he agrees,” he was quoted as saying in The Australian.
Halvorsen, agreed that the left-arm pacer would be losing a lot of money by staying away from the IPL.
“Physically when you are playing as much cricket as they are you have to take a rest. Mitchell was bowling 50 overs a Test match and it was fast bowling. He’s also been scoring runs. If you don’t take a rest you are going to ruin yourself,” Halvorsen added.
“We see Mitchell playing for eight to 10 years and his interests won’t be served by playing IPL this season.”