As Australia prepare for the Test series against Pakistan, one of the greatest Aussie batters of all time, David Warner, will don the white shirt for the national team one last time. While Warner’s form in the longest format hasn’t been the best, he was picked for the Test assignment against Pakistan, a fact that hasn’t gone down well with former Australia star Mitchell Johnson. In his column, Johnson aimed an unflinching attack at Warner, criticising the fact that the southpaw was given an opportunity to play his farewell series despite his poor form and involvement in the ‘sandpaper gate’ scandal.
“As we prepare for David Warner’s farewell series, can somebody please tell me why?” Johnson wrote in his column for The West Australian. “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?” he added.
Warner wasn’t the only one to have been reprimanded in the sandpaper gate saga, the likes of Steve Smith and Cameron Bancroft were also penalised by Cricket Australia.
Following the incident Smith and Warner were barred from taking up leadership roles even after their suspension concluded. But, seeing Warner being a big part of the scandal, despite being one of the seniors in the team, Johnson wasn’t amused.
“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.
“Now the way he is going out is underpinned by more of the same arrogance and disrespect to our country. What will fans bring for Warner? Bunnings would sell out of sandpaper,” he wrote.
“Ultimately, an international cricket career is not just about your statistical achievements with bat or ball. How you held yourself and how you played the game will live long after you depart,” said the former Aussie quick.
Johnson didn’t just attack Warner but also Australia coach Andrew McDonald, suggesting Warner’s selection doesn’t suggest he picked the squad on the basis of merit.
“Australia coach Andrew McDonald said recently they will be picking this summer’s Test squad based on current performances.
“It would be nice to know how long this strategy has been in place because it doesn’t seem to have applied to Warner for quite a while.”
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