Johnson opts out of IPL gravy train

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

MELBOURNE - Australian left-arm fast bowler Mitchell Johnson has opted out of the fourth edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), where he could have got a 1.5 million dollar payday.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Johnson, skipper Ricky Ponting and vice-captain Michael Clarke are not among the 416 names released yesterday for next month’s player auction in Bangalore.

The resurgent Johnson has elected to sit out the fourth edition of the IPL to prolong his international career.

Players sold at the auction are given three-year deals but IPL franchises have the option of severing contracts after two years due to performance or injury.

“We want to manage his career so he can continue to play on at the elite level for six, seven, eight more years. We don’t want him to be burnt out by overcooking himself,” the Herald Sun and the SMH quoted the 29-year-old’s manager, Sam Halvorsen, as saying.

Halvorsen added: “We don’t see how that will be aided by playing too much cricket and playing IPL is too much cricket. It’s also a long time from home, and they get precious little time at home.”

“When he’s not playing cricket he’s working extremely hard in the gym to ensure his core strength is right where it needs to be to enable him to bowl the way he bowls,” he said.

Johnson is said to be wary of missing out on international cricket as a result of getting injured in the IPL.

“Family and Australian commitments have prevented Michael from attending IPL to his point in time,” White said. “He has not nominated for this year, but is very keen to keep options open,” said Michael Clarke’s manager Clarke, Australia’s Twenty20 captain, again opted out of the IPL but his manager Chris White.

Ponting, who announced his international Twenty20 retirement last year, has not played in the IPL since its inaugural staging in 2008 and last season had the final year of his 400,000 dollar deal paid out by Kolkata Knight Riders.

Australia will tour Bangladesh in April for Tests and limited-overs games after the World Cup but Cricket Australia is still waiting for the Bangladesh Cricket Board to finalise dates and venues. (ANI)

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