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Rediff.com  » Cricket » When best buddies Johnson and Watson nearly came to blows!

When best buddies Johnson and Watson nearly came to blows!

October 24, 2016 18:20 IST

Shane Watson and Mitchell Johnson share a laugh during an Australian training session

IMAGE: Shane Watson and Mitchell Johnson share a laugh during an Australian training session. Photograph: Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images

Australia pace spearhead Mitchell Johnson has revealed how his long-standing friendship with Shane Watson got off to a rocky start back in 2000, when the former all-rounder stuck his head in the toilet at the Australia's Cricket Academy in Adelaide.

The CricketAcademy was helmed by former captain Rod Marsh and featured tutorials from the likes of Ian Chappell, John Inverarity and Dennis Lillee.

In his autobiography ‘Resilient’, Johnson wrote how that year's intake had a habit of watching the Australia soap opera Neighbours together besides engaging in an all-in wrestle during commercial breaks.

"Every night we'd pile into the common room and watch Neighbours before dinner. I was always a bit willing as every time there was an ad break there would be an all-in wrestle on the floor until the show started again," he was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.

"In one wrestle, I was dragged through the door and into the bathroom by a heap of guys and somebody pushed my head into the toilet. I wasn't impressed and the red mist descended. Somehow I managed to break free and I grabbed whoever it was by the front of the shirt as I got up and someone grabbed mine," he added.

He also revealed that this incident led to a heated exchange between the two close friends.

"I raised my right fist and he did the same. Then we looked at each other. It was Watto. I think we both looked at each other and thought: nah, I'm not going to hit him, he's my mate, and put our fists down at the same time. I can't say I wasn't angry. It took me a few days to get over it," emphasised Johnson.

Following the incident, Watson and Johnson went on to become close friends, so much so that when the pacer sought further explanation as to why both were suspended in India in 2013, he was told by the then coach Mickey Arthur that -- "Mickey told me I spent too much time with Watto and that was the real issue here. I was told we were too close, like we were a faction or something. I am sorry, but you can't help but be close to a bloke you have been playing cricket with since you were 19."

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