Who said sports was all about the money? Australian fast bowler Mitchell Johnson has placed national pride over a lucrative deal with the Indian Premier League (IPL). The Western Australia cricketer has reportedly just turned his back on a possible $1.5 million deal with the IPL, refusing to figure in the League's player auction for the fourth season to be held on Jan 8 and 9, 2011.
Johnson, who has taken 32 wickets in 27 Twenty20 matches at an impressive average of 20.00 and a good economy rate of 6.78, would have commanded a price tag of around $500,000 a year, had he been available for the auction. Johnson has decided to skip the IPL's next edition over plans to prolong his international career.
"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,'' said the 29-year-old's manager, Sam Halvorsen. ''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."
Johnson played his last Twenty20 match for Australia against Pakistan in July, going for an expensive 39 off his four overs while taking just one wicket. And contrary to his reputation as a big-hitter, he contributed precious little with the bat in the match, scoring a duck.