Warner’s text was quite personal: The ‘Candice’ factor that sparked Johnson jibe | Cricket - Hindustan Times
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‘Got a text from David which was quite personal’: Johnson reveals ‘Candice’ factor that sparked explosive Warner tirade

Dec 05, 2023 10:53 AM IST

Johnson did not retract from the scathing attack he launched and rather revealed that it all began when he had received a message back in April from Warner

Two days after his freakishly vicious attack on former teammate and present Australia opener David Warner, which created quite a stir in world cricket, Mitchell Johnson has revealed what sparked his staggering column against the Aussie star. Speaking on his Mitchell Johnson Cricket Show podcast with broadcaster Bharat Sundaresan, the West Australian also blasted Australian selector George Bailey for his response to the article, calling his statement a "childish" and "disgusting" dig.

Mitchell Johnson reveals what sparked David Warner attack
Mitchell Johnson reveals what sparked David Warner attack

Johnson did not retract from the scathing attack he launched at Warner and rather revealed that it all began when he had received a "quite personal" message back in April from the Australia batter in response to a column he wrote after Warner's wife Candice defended her husband's place in the Test team on Fox Sport's program, The Back Page. Johnson did not reveal any details of the message from Warner but admitted that it, along with his batter wanting a farewell Test in Sydney led to him writing his column.

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"People have touched on it, (that) there seems to be a personal side to it, which there is as well. But when I've written my articles, I've always tried to do it in a way that I can back things up ... it is my opinion, it is only an opinion piece. This one was a difficult one to do ... when I wrote it, I knew it was probably going to get a bit of attention," he said.

"I tried to ring (Warner) to talk to him about it, which I've always been open about with the guys," Johnson added while talking about Warner's eight-month old message. "It was never a personal thing then. Until that point. That is what prompted me to write the article, or part of it, as well. It's definitely a factor. Some of the things that he mentioned in that message, I won't say it because that's up to Dave to say if he wants to talk about it, (but) there was some stuff in there, which was extremely disappointing ... and pretty bad to be honest."

The 42-year-old also revealed that he was hurt by the comments made by Bailey in response to the column on Warner, saying that the Australian selector targeted his mental health issues he has endured. The 2015 World Cup-winning fast bowler had said that Bailey is too close to the members of the Australian team to make objective and tough calls.

On Sunday, while naming the squad for the Pakistan Test series, Bailey responded to the allegations made by Johnson saying, "I've been sent little snippets of it - I hope he's OK".

“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,” Johnson said. “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.”

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