Two days after his attack on former teammate and current Australia opener David Warner, former pacer Mitchell Johnson has revealed the reason behind his tirade. Johnson, who lashed out at the Aussie opener, while also reigniting the ball-tampering controversy, claimed that Warner doesn’t deserve a “hero’s sendoff” referring to the Pakistan series being his last. The 42-year-old had also taken shots at Australia chief selector Geroge Bailey for persisting with Warner despite his poor outings recently.
Johnson revealed that Warner texted him earlier this year after he wrote a column on the southpaw’s wife, Candice, defending her husband’s place in the team.
While he did not divulge much into the details of Warner’s “quite personal” text message, Johnson admitted that it was one of reasons, along with the ball tampering scandal, behind his column of the West Australian.
“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,” the former Australia pacer said on The Mitchell Johnson Cricket Show.
“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,” he added.
Johnson was also furious at Bailey’s response to his article on Warner, which he interpreted as a reference at his mental health.
“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. It’s basically having a dig at someone’s mental health and saying that I must have something going on, a mental health issue has made me say what I have said. That’s not the truth. That’s completely the opposite. I’m actually clear-minded,” he quipped.
Reacting to Johnson’s column on Warner, Bailey had said: “I’ve been sent little snippets of it – I hope he’s OK”.