Former Australian fast bowler, Mitchell Johnson has strongly criticized his former teammate David Warner’s expressed wish for a farewell, as the left-handed batsman gears up for what would be his final red-ball series against Pakistan this month.
Mitchell Johnson raised a question in his Sunday column in The West Australian about why Warner is receiving favorable treatment from the selectors, considering his involvement in the ball-tampering scandal in 2018.
Johnson said, “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”.
He added, “As we prepare for David Warner’s farewell series, can somebody please tell me why? Why a struggling Test opener gets to nominate his retirement date? And why a player at the center of one of the biggest scandals in Australian cricket history warrants a hero’s send-off?”
Mitchell Johnson expressed that Warner is not Australia’s Test captain and never deserved to be, concluding his career under a lifetime leadership ban.
He also mentioned that he has a decent overall record, and some consider him one of our greatest opening batsmen. However, his performance in Test cricket over the past three years has been ordinary, with a batting average closer to what a tailender would find satisfactory.
The ball-tampering disgrace in South Africa is an incident that many will never forget. While Warner wasn’t the sole culprit in the Sandpapergate scandal, he was, at the time, a senior member of the team and someone who liked to wield his perceived power as a ‘leader.’
He also raised questions, “Does this warrant a swansong, a last hurrah against Pakistan that was forecast a year in advance, as if he were bigger than the game and the Australian cricket team? Granted, he made a double century against South Africa at the MCG last summer, but those were the only runs he had scored in years. Leading into this year’s Ashes series, that was the only instance where he had reached 50 in his previous 17 Test innings”.
Meanwhile, Warner has been included in Australia’s 14-man squad against Pakistan, as revealed by Cricket Australia (CA) on Sunday, and George Bailey, the chairman of selectors, emphasized that he is a vital part of Australia’s best XI.