In a tacit acknowledgement of his ability to terrify batsmen into early international retirement with his aggressive bowling, the ICC has announced that those facing the prospect of being on the receiving end of a Mitchell Johnson delivery will now be given the option by the umpire to end their international career on the spot before Johnson bowls at them.
The decision comes on the back of South African Captain Graeme Smith announcing his international retirement after facing a barrage of body shattering deliveries from the West Australian paceman where he acknowledged that he’d prefer to not play cricket again “rather than face that lethal bastard again.”
The International Cricket Council made the decision in light of the psychological impact Mitchell Johnson was having on opponents over this summer, including breaking the body of former CNN broadcaster and inventor of phone hacking Piers Morgan.
“We took a look at what was happening and we simply didn’t think it was fair that Mitchell Johnson be allowed to continually ruin the reputations of otherwise quality players,” David Richardson, CEO of the ICC said. “As a result, any player who is about to face a delivery from Mitchell Johnson can now indicate to the on-field umpires that he would like to retire from all international cricket with immediate effect by placing his bat on the ground across the crease. The player can then leave the field of play without any further alteration or penalty to their batting statistics on CricInfo.”
The new instant retirement law will come into play at the conclusion of the current test series between South Africa and Australia.
The ICC also clarified that the new Mitchell Law, as it’s already becoming known, won’t apply to India, who instead have had the ICC rule that Mitchell Johnson is banned from playing in any match against India or a team featuring Indian players.
“It is clearly against the reverent like manner in which we expect all teams to conduct themselves towards India to allow a player as talented and driven as Johnson to expose the inability of our Indian heroes to play against outright pace,” said N Srinivasan, President of the Board of Control for Cricket in India.