Former Australian cricketer Mitchell Johnson has lashed out at David Warner and asked if the opener warrants a farewell from Test cricket. Warner is expected to take retirement from Test cricket in January, next year against Pakistan at the Sydney Cricket Ground. He revealed his plans to retire from the format earlier this year.
In his column for The Western Australia, Mitchell Johnson expressed that David Warner has been struggling as an opener for Australia in Test cricket off late. He asked if a struggling opener deserves a farewell. He also wrote about Warner’s involvement in the ball-tampering scandal. Johnson added that Warner’s decision to ask for a farewell Test reeks of “more arrogance and disrespect” to the nation.
“As we prepare for David Warner’s farewell series, can somebody please tell me why? Why does a struggling Test opener get to nominate his 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?” wrote Mitchell Johnson.
“It’s the ball-tampering disgrace in South Africa that many will never forget. Although Warner wasn’t alone in Sandpaper Gate, he was at the time a senior member of the team and someone who liked to use his perceived power as a ‘leader’,” he added.
Mitchell Johnson further wrote, “Does this really warrant a swansong, a last hurrah against Pakistan that was forecast a year in advance as if he was bigger than the game and the Australian cricket team?”
Mitchell Johnson accuses chief selector George Bailey of being ‘too close’ to some of the players
Former pacer Mitchell Johson further criticised Australia’s chief selector George Bailey, accusing him of favouring players, including Tim Paine, who was involved in a sexting scandal that was made public in 2021. Bailey did not get involved in deciding Tim Paine’s future, and left it to the coach and selector Tony Dodemaide, Johnson wrote.
“When then-captain Tim Paine’s career was ending over the sexting controversy, chairman of selectors George Bailey said he didn’t want to be part of deciding Paine’s fate because the pair were close friends,” Johnson said.
“Bailey said he would leave it to then coach Justin Langer and fellow selector Tony Dodemaide to work it out.”
“The handling of Warner in recent years, who played with Bailey in all three forms, raises the question of whether Bailey was simply too quickly out of playing and into the job and too close to some of the players,” he further wrote.