Johnson turns his back on IPL

January 10th, 2009 - 10:13 pm ICT by IANS  

Sydney, Jan 10 (IANS) Mitchell Johnson has turned down an offer to join the cash-rich Indian Premier League (IPL) — so as to remain fit for national duty.The fast bowler said his first priority was staying fit and healthy for his job with the Australian team.

Johnson was expected to fetch around $800,000 in the IPL auction Feb 6. But he said he would not be participating, reports The Australian.

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

Johnson has been the pick of the Australian bowlers and leading wicket-taker in all three series.

Other senior players like Brett Lee, Matthew Hayden and Ricky Ponting who played in the IPL have battled with form and fitness since the tournament last year.

Johnson’s manager Sam Halvorsen said the bowler’s decision to skip last year’s IPL had paid dividends.

Australian Cricket has 26 Tests, 54 one-dayers and at least 25 Twenty20 matches in the next 18 months.

Halvorsen confirmed that Johnson was turning down a lot of money but added that if one asked many of the players who took part 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.

“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. We see Mitchell playing for eight to 10 years and his interests won’t be served by playing IPL this season.”

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