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Why Johnson Slammed Warner

December 05, 2023 11:01 IST
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IMAGE: In happier times: Mitchell Johnson celebrates with David Warner after taking Stuart Broad's wicket in the second Ashes Test at the Adelaide Oval, December 7, 2013. Photograph: David Gray/Reuters

Mitchell Johnson didn't mince his words in a recent column in the West Australian newspaper where he questioned the rationale behind giving David Warner a hero's farewell from Test cricket.

Warner, who expressed his desire to retire after the Sydney Test in January, has faced criticism for both his involvement in the 2018 ball-tampering scandal and his below-par form.

In his podcast, The Mitchell Johnson Cricket Show, the former fast bowler revealed that he received a 'pretty bad' and 'disappointing' text message from Warner earlier this year in response to his column.

Johnson, known for his openness to dialogue, expressed his willingness to discuss the matter directly with Warner.

'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,' Johnson shared.

The personal nature of the message and the lack of communication prompted Johnson to write the column, where he argued that Warner has not fully taken ownership for the ball-tampering scandal and questioned the justification for a hero's send-off based on his current Test form.

'It's been five years and David 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,' Johnson wrote in his column for the West Australian.

'As we prepare for David Warner's farewell series, can somebody please tell me why? Why a struggling Test opener gets to nominate his own retirement date? And why a player at the centre of one of the biggest scandals in Australian cricket history warrants a hero's send-off?'

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