Former Australia fast bowler Mitchell Johnson has said that a ‘pretty bad’ text from David Warner was one of the main catalysts behind his extraordinary attack on his former teammate.
The Australia great recently launched a scathing attack towards David Warner and also took shots at one of his other former teammate and current chairman of selectors George Bailey. Writing in his column for the West Australian, the former pacer questioned the decision to give David Warner a hero’s send-off in Test cricket despite his poor form as well as his involvement in the infamous 2018 ball-tampering scandal.
He also questioned Bailey’s integrity, saying that the chief selector was too close to the players as he wrote: “Does this really warrant a swansong, a last hurrah against Pakistan that was forecast a year in advance as if he was bigger than the game and the Australian cricket team?
“It’s been five years and Warner has still never really owned the ball-tampering scandal. Now the way he is going out is underpinned by more of the same arrogance and disrespect to our country,” he added.
David Warner is yet to react publicly but Bailey recently talked about it. When asked about Mitchell Johnson’s comments during the press conference for Australia’s Test squad announcement, Bailey said: “I hope he’s okay.”
Mitchell Johnson on receiving ‘quite personal text’ from David Warner:
After facing the backlash for his comments, Mitchell Johnson has claimed that he received a text from David Warner earlier this year and called it ‘quite personal’. Speaking on his podcast The Mitchell Johnson Cricket Show, hosted by journalist Bharat Sundaresan, the World Cup-winning former bowler said that the text was the foundation of his attack on his former teammate.
He had received the text in April after criticizing the opener’s form and Candice Warner’s public defense of her husband’s Test place on a Fox Sports television show The Back Page.
“I got a message from Dave, which was quite personal,” Mitchell Johnson said. “I tried to ring to try and talk to him about it, which I’ve always been open to. I know I’ve been open to the guys when I finished playing. I said if I’m in the media and writing things or saying things that you don’t like, just come and speak to me.
“It was never a personal thing then until this point. This is probably what drove me to write the article as well, part of it. It was definitely a factor. Some of the stuff that was said in that, I won’t say it. I think that’s up to Dave to say it if he wants to talk about it. There was some stuff in there that was extremely disappointing, what he said, and pretty bad to be honest,” he added.
Speaking further, he took full ownership of the article while also stating that he regrets not withdrawing one particular line from it suggesting “Bunnings would sell out of sandpaper” if fans were asked to bring something to wave for the veteran opener’s farewell.
“It was probably distasteful and something that I think didn’t need to be said,” Johnson said. “Apart from that, it’s all proof read and I sign off on it.
“I did come up with this myself. This was something that popped into my head early in the week that I wanted to speak about. And I actually gave myself a few days to go through it. I’m not looking for attention. It’s just my opinion and how I see it,” he added.
Meanwhile, Warner has been picked in Australia’s squad for the upcoming series against Pakistan. The three-match Test series is scheduled to begin on December 14 in Perth. Warner has already announced that he would retire from Tests after the series against Pakistan.