David Warner and Usman Khawaja
David Warner and Usman Khawaja (Image Credits: Twitter)

Australian opener Usman Khawaja has responded to Mitchell Johnson’s criticism of David Warner, stating his partner paid his dues for the Sandpapergate scandal. Usman Khawaja highlighted that David Warner and Steve Smith’s past mistakes should be left behind.

Mitchell Johnson said that players involved in the Sandpaper incident, including Warner, are not heroes. Johnson questioned why he should have control over his retirement from Tests, expressing concerns about giving him a farewell in the upcoming series against Pakistan.

David Warner And Steve Smith Have Paid Their Dues – Usman Khawaja

Usman Khawaja defended David Warner and Steve Smith, asserting that their positive contributions outweigh past mistakes. He emphasized that nobody is perfect, including Mitchell Johnson, and highlighted the contributions of Warner and Smith to the game.

“Davey Warner and Steve Smith are heroes in my mind. They missed a year of cricket through dark times in Australian cricket, but they have paid their dues. No one is perfect. Mitchell Johnson isn’t perfect. I am not perfect. Steve Smith is not perfect. David Warner isn’t perfect,” Khawaja said.

“What they have done for the game and to grow the game far outweighs anything else they have done. So for [Johnson] to imply that Dave Warner or anyone else involved in [the] Sandpaper [incident] is not a hero, I strongly disagree with because I believe they have paid their dues,” he added.

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Have You Asked Marnus Labuschagne This? – Usman Khawaja

Usman Khawaja commended the impact of coach Andrew McDonald but dismissed the idea of Marnus Labuschagne replacing David Warner as an opener in the Test team. Khawaja suggested that Labuschagne prefers to play at his current batting position.

“Have you asked Marnus this? I think he would give you a really clear, ‘hell no’. Marnus has got opening-itis. I am pretty sure Davey Warner hurt his arm and sent Alex Carey out to open. I think that is a long shot,” Khawaja further stated.

Australia squad for first test against Pakistan: Pat Cummins (c), David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Travis Head, Mitchell Marsh, Alex Carey, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood, Scott Boland, Cameron Green, Lance Morris.

Also read: “Matching Babar With Smith Is Like Matching Smith With Kohli..”- Usman Khawaja


Saikrishna Vaitla is an author at Cricketaddictor has been working since September 2022.