Former Australia pacer Mitchell Johnson revealed that he received a ‘pretty bad’ text message from his ex-teammate David Warner earlier this year, which prompted him to criticize Australia’s Test opener in his column. He also branded selectors chairman George Bailey’s answer ‘quite disgusting.’
In an editorial published in the West Australian a few days ago, the former speedster questioned why Warner has the authority to choose his retirement date despite his terrible form with the bat in Tests. Warner had stated his intentions to retire from the Test format earlier this year, mentioning that he would be keen to bring his career in the red-ball format to an end at his home ground, the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG). According to the report, when Johnson wrote an article in the West Australian questioning why Warner was getting a hero’s send-off in Test cricket despite his poor form and whether the chair of selectors, Bailey, was too close to the players, he sparked an extraordinary public slanging match among the former Australia teammates. During a press conference following the announcement of Australia’s Test squad for the first Test against Pakistan on Sunday, Bailey was asked to reply to Johnson’s essay and answered, ‘I hope he’s okay.’ Warner has not reacted publicly, but his manager, James Erskine, hit back at Johnson.
Erskine stated that questioning Warner’s selection isn’t logical.
Meanwhile, Usman Khawaja also defended the veteran opener and said he ‘strongly disagreed’ with Johnson’s statement, mentioning that the opener and former skipper Steve Smith, who was also banned for a year, had paid the price for their blunders.