Johnson rejects enormous IPL cash offer to focus on long term Aussie stint

January 10th, 2009 - 1:57 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, Jan 10 (ANI): Mitchell Johnson has said that his first priority is to stay fit and healthy for his job with the Australian team, turning back on an enormous cash offer to join the Indian Premier League.

The fast bowler was expected to fetch around 800,000 dollars in the IPL auction on February 6, but revealed to The Weekend Australian that he would not be participating.

Johnsons manager, Sam Halvorsen, said that the bowlers decision to skip last years IPL had paid dividends.

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. You would have to say, looking back now, it worked effectively, Halvorsen said.

With that same thing in mind we want to protect his long-term interests and I dont see that will be served by playing the IPL and he agrees, he added.

Halvorsen confirmed that Johnson was turning down a lot of money, but said that if you asked many of the players who participated last year if it had been worth it, they might have second thoughts.

Physically when you are playing as much cricket as they are you have to take a rest, he said. Johnson was bowling 50 overs a Test match and it was fast bowling. Hes also been scoring runs. If you dont take a rest you are going to ruin yourself.

We see Mitchell playing for eight to 10 years and his interests wont be served by playing IPL this season, Halvorsen added.

Johnson ignored the dash for Indian cash last year and spent his time doing core strength and fitness work at home.

The decision paid off for Johnson who shouldered an enormous burden this summer, as he has been the pick of the Australian bowlers and leading wicket-taker in all three series.

Other senior Australian players who played in the IPL have battled with form and fitness since the tournament last year.

Perhaps the only Australian who competed in the IPL and did well in its aftermath was Simon Katich, but he was not in the Test side at the time and had a lighter workload than the rest.

The other best-performing batsman in the period since the Twenty20 tournament has been Michael Clarke, who sat out last years IPL because of family reasons and is yet to decide if he will play this time around. (ANI)

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