Melbourne, Jul 12: At a time when Twenty20 riches seem to be luring players away from Test cricket, Australian pacer Mitchell Johnson has decided to stay away from the shortest format of the game to be fit for the summer series against India and New Zealand.
The left-armer turned down an offer from Perth Scorchers to represent the side in the inaugural season of the Twenty20 Big Bash League (BBL) in order to keep himself fit for one of Australia''s most taxing Test match summers.
The 29-year-old felt that it would do him little good to try to squeeze Twenty20 appearances in between home Test series against New Zealand and India, which follow winter and spring tours to Sri Lanka and South Africa.
"At the moment I''ve decided not to sign with any of the Twenty20 sides," Johnson told reporters in Brisbane at Australia''s training camp.
"The Scorchers approached me and at the moment I'm just happy to focus on the summer coming up," the bowler said.
Johnson's move, however, will have an impact on Cricket Australia's (CA) attempt to add stars to the league in order to push the game's audience and revenue.
The cricketer, meanwhile, wants to go back to grade cricket when he gets the chance.
"With India coming over, they're obviously a strong side, and it might give me a chance also to go back to grade cricket if the opportunity's there. We've got a big summer coming up, Sri Lanka first, then South Africa, they're going to be big Tests for us in their home towns, and a big summer here, so that's where my main focus is," Johnson insisted.