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Johnson sledges Warner over Test farewell

Mitchell Johnson (right) has slammed the idea of a farewell Test series for ex-teammate David Warner. (AP PHOTO)

By Oliver Caffrey in Melbourne

CHAMPION fast bowler Mitchell Johnson has launched an extraordinary attack on David Warner over his former Australian teammate’s farewell Test series.

Johnson has torn into the Australian opener’s “hero send-off” and opened up old wounds from Sandpapergate in an explosive column as Warner prepares to bow out of Test cricket in January.

Warner has expressed his desire to finish his red-ball career at home when Australia face Pakistan in the third and final Test of the series at the SCG.

The pair 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”.

“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, shredding Warner over his involvement in the infamous ball-tampering scandal that earned the 37-year-old 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.

“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.”

Johnson’s attack on Warner comes two years after he savaged Pat Cummins in his same newspaper column amid the fallout from Justin Langer’s exit as Australian coach.

The 42-year-old’s relationship with his fast-bowling brethren, Cummins and Mitchell Starc, has not been the same since.

Johnson took 313 wickets in 73 Tests for Australia, retiring in November 2015.

 

Australian Associated Press

Australian Associated Press

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