3 Dec 2023

Johnson slams former teammate Warner's "farewell series"

5:44 pm on 3 December 2023
Former Australian fast bowler Mitchell Johnson.

Former Australian fast bowler Mitchell Johnson. Photo: photosport

Retired fast bowler Mitchell Johnson has launched an extraordinary attack on David Warner over his former Australian teammate's farewell test series.

Johnson has criticised what he described as Warner's "hero's send-off", opening up old wounds from the ball-tampering controversy in an explosive newspaper column.

Warner had expressed his desire to finish his red-ball career on home soil when Australia faces Pakistan in the third and final test of the series at the SCG.

On Sunday morning, he was named in Australia's squad for this month's first test in Perth.

David Warner of Australia

David Warner of Australia Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Johnson and Warner played together for Australia for more than five years, including in the 2013/14 Ashes whitewash and the 2015 ODI World Cup victory.

"As we prepare for David Warner's farewell series, can somebody please tell me why?" Johnson wrote in The West Australian, prior to the Australian squad announcement.

"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?"

Johnson went further, criticising Warner over his involvement in the infamous 'Sandpapergate' scandal in South Africa in 2018 that earned him a 12-month ban.

"Although Warner wasn't alone in Sandpapergate, he was at the time a senior member of the team and someone who liked to use his perceived power as a 'leader'," Johnson wrote.

Johnson, who took 313 wickets in 73 tests for Australia, also targeted chairman of selectors George Bailey in his column.

"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," Johnson wrote.

Johnson's scathing attack on Warner comes two years after he slammed Pat Cummins in his same newspaper column amid the fallout from Justin Langer's exit as Australia coach.

- This story first appeared on [https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-12-03/cricket-david-warner-mitchell-johnson-australia-test-farewell/103182618 ABC)