Johnson out of CLT20, but fine for UAE trip

Australia fast bowler Mitchell Johnson has been ruled out of the Champions League T20 entirely as his rib injury has not healed sufficiently, and CA look to protect him for the trip the UAE to face Pakistan.

Johnson was a tentative pick for the Kings XI Punjab, but had yet to play in the CLT20 due to the injury. On Friday Cricket Australia confirmed the paceman would not go to India at all, but rather prepare for the UAE heat.

CA’s team manager Pat Howard said on the board’s website: “Unfortunately, Mitchell is not back to 100 per cent fitness so we will not be releasing him to Kings XI Punjab for the remainder of the Champions League.

“He will travel with the squad to Dubai on Sunday to continue his rehab with the team medical staff.”

Meanwhile, Johnson will seek advice from former Aussie paceman Andy Bichel, who played in the UAE in 2002 under extreme heat, and was almost defeated by it, despite being renowned as one of the fittest players around.

Johnson said: “I definitely have to get some information off him (Bichel). The big thing over there is the heat, it’s quite hot but hopefully it’s not too bad.

“I did speak to him a while ago when we were (in Brisbane) for some training, but I’ll need to get some handy tips.

“He’s one of the fittest guys I ever played cricket with at Queensland and his stamina and strength got through a lot of years and he was able to play for a long time.”