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Mitchell Johnson Clarifies Stance On David Warner’s Retirement Send-Off
By CricShots - Dec 5, 2023 12:25 pm
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In the lead-up to David Warner’s retirement Test tour against Pakistan, former Australian cricketer Mitchell Johnson penned a scathing article criticizing Warner’s desire for a hero’s send-off. Johnson questioned Warner’s remorse over his involvement in the ball-tampering scandal in South Africa in 2018 and suggested that he should not be treated as a hero. Johnson’s comments sparked a debate within the Australian cricket community, with some supporting his stance and others defending Warner.

David Warner
David Warner

Chief selector George Bailey and opener Usman Khawaja were among those who criticized Johnson, leading the former pacer to further clarify his position. Speaking on his own podcast, Johnson revealed that he had received a “pretty bad” text message from Warner earlier in the year following a previous article where Johnson criticized Warner’s form and his wife Candice Warner’s public defense of her husband’s spot in the playing XI.

Johnson stated that he attempted to reach out to Warner to discuss the matter but received no response. He expressed his frustration that Warner chose to address the issue publicly rather than privately.

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“I got a message from Dave, which was quite personal. 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,” Mitchell Johnson said on his podcast.

Mitchell Johnson
Mitchell Johnson

He further added, “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.”

Johnson also criticized Bailey’s comment of “I hope he’s okay” in response to Johnson’s article. Johnson felt that Bailey’s comment was dismissive and disrespectful.

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“To ask if I’m okay because I’ve had mental health issues is pretty much downplaying my article and putting it on mental health, which is quite disgusting, I think,” Mitchell Johnson said.

The exchange between Johnson and Warner highlights the complexities of personal and professional relationships within a sporting team. It also raises questions about the appropriate channels for addressing grievances and the boundaries of public criticism.