- Johnson hammered his former teammate in newspaper column
- Said he did not deserve a ‘hero’s farewell’ after sandpapergate
- Former England skipper has stepped up to defend Warner
They were once bitter Ashes rivals, but now England legend Michael Vaughan has stepped up to bat for David Warner following the lashing he copped from former teammate Mitchell Johnson.
Warner has become the talk of the Aussie summer, with the decorated opening batsman signaling his intent to retire from Test cricket after the New Year’s match against Pakistan at the SCG.
That prompted a fiery spray from Johnson in his column for The West, where the former pace bowling firebrand slammed Warner for choosing his own retirement date.
Johnson questioned Warner’s questioned the batter’s continued selection and also blasted chief selector George Bailey for sticking by the opener despite lean returns in recent years.
Warner broke his silence on Johnson’s column on Friday, laughing off the controversy
Michael Vaughan had many classic battles with Australia but has defended Warner
Johnson went volcanic against his former teammate Warner in his column for The West
Warner broke his silence on the column at the Kayo launch of the summer of cricket on Friday.
‘It would not be a summer of cricket without a headline,’ Warner laughed.
‘It is what it is. Everyone is entitled to an opinion. But moving forward, we are looking to a nice Test over in the west.
And he found an unlikely ally in Vaughan, who is in Australia in his commentary role ahead of the Test series against Pakistan.
‘First and foremost I don’t think David Warner said he’s playing. He’s said he’s available for selection. So it’s up to the selectors to pick him,’ Vaughan told News Corp.
Warner plundered plenty of runs at the World Cup and is looking forward to a big summer
“I think we all know he’s going to get three games in Australia on these wickets the way I saw him play in the World Cup, I’ll pretty much guarantee he’ll score runs and he’ll go out with a bang,’ Vaughan continued.
“He’s got such a strong mindset. I think he’s a legend of the game.
“Do you as a legend have the right to have six months of a farewell? Well, he’s not actually asked for that. He just announced his retirement (date) and that he hopes to be playing in that Test match in Sydney.
“There’s not many players who get the fairytale ending but you would say David Warner if he gets through to that last Test, which I’d back him to do so, he’s earned the right to have that fairytale send-off on his home ground.’
Johnson said Warner does not deserve a ‘Hero’s farewell’ after his role in Sandpapergate
Vaughan, who was a classy batsman in his own right, said Warner had already been punished harshly for the events in Cape Town
Warner is hoping for a chance to have one last Test at his home ground in Sydney
Johnson pulled no punches in his column, writing that Warner did not deserve a ‘Hero’s Farewell’ after his role in the sandpapergate scandal of 2018 that saw the former Test vice-captain banned for 12 months.
Vaughan said it was ‘completely unfair’ to continue to tarnish Warner’s record over that incident, saying he had more than paid the price for his role in the ball tampering scandal in Cape Town.
‘I said when it happened that a 12-month ban for both him and Steve Smith was just far too extreme,’ Vaughan said.
‘The crime wasn’t worthy of the penalty that came with it.
‘I do think David Warner is a great of the game. Because of what’s happened and because Dave’s had some controversy in his career, I think there’s some people who won’t give him that mantle and won’t talk about him in those lights.
‘But you only have to look at his record. His record in World Cups.
‘I think the only area of his batting that you would say he’s had a vulnerability is Stuart Broad around the wicket with the Duke’s ball.
‘Otherwise he’s pretty much dominated throughout the whole of his career and he’s been great to watch.’