Ex-Aussie captains Michael Clarke and Tim Paine have broken their silence on Mitchell Johnson’s extraordinary swipe at ex-teammate David Warner.
Johnson penned an explosive column for The West Australian on Saturday questioning why Warner deserved a ‘hero’s send-off’ after his role in Sandpaper gate and a run of poor form.
Johnson also took aim at national selector George Bailey’s professionalism, questioning whether he was too close with the players.
Paine and Clarke both commented on the brutal column on Monday morning radio, with Paine saying that Johnson’s points were ruined by the personal nature of the attack.
‘I think if you read between the lines, him and Davey Warner clearly don’t get along,’ Paine said on his Hobart SEN breakfast radio show.
Johnson shocked the cricket world by penning an explosive column for The West Australian on Saturday questioning why Warner deserved a ‘hero’s send-off’
Johnson suggested fans could wave sandpaper at his final matches in relation his role in Sandpaper gate
‘So it’s a bit easier for him to fire a few shots at him.
‘They’re just different people. I have nothing to shed on that. They’re just different. I’m only reading between the lines. Just reading that tells me that they probably don’t get along.
‘But again some of his points about his (Warner’s) stats and his position in the team and him getting a little bit of extra time were probably ruined by the personal nature of it.
‘And bringing sandpaper back into it. And saying David being a person who used his leadership role for power. I played with David and he certainly didn’t do that.
‘I thought the article was pretty good. There were a lot of questions that people wanted to ask and it created a lot of interest and a lot of thought, even from someone like me.
‘I thought he just went a bit too far on some things that it ruined it for me. The George stuff, I just found it a bit unnecessary.’
Clarke, who captained Johnson, was genuinely surprised by the comments, saying he had not seen evidence of a ‘beef’ between the pair while they were playing together.
‘In every sporting team. Not everybody gets on. Not everyone is best friends,’ Clarke said on the Big Sports Breakfast.
Tim Paine said the feuding pair clearly don’t get along, though accepted that the article raised some ‘pretty valid points’
Clarke was genuinely surprised at the attack from Johnson and said he had no knowledge of a serious beef between the pair
‘Dave is a strong character, Mitch is a strong character, (they) went hard at each other in the nets.
‘I saw that but I couldn’t sit here and say they had beef against one another when we played.’
Clarke stressed the importance of former players with media jobs being able to speak their mind, but recommended he steer clear of personal attacks.
‘I’d imagine that’s a paid column that he writes for that newspaper so he’s got to say what he feels and if that’s how he feels that’s how he feels,’ he said
‘I hope there’s no beef I think all you can try and do when you’re in a role like this is if you have an opinion and it’s based on what’s best for the team I think you should go with that, but it should never be personal, or I try not to make it personal, and if it comes across that way I guess you try and apologise for it because you don’t mean it like that.
‘Maybe I’ve missed something here because Mitch hasn’t played for years now so maybe there is beef I don’t know.’
Former Australian coach Darren Lehmann said that both Johnson and Warner were ‘good fellas’ and he hope they ‘get together and sort it out’.
Ex-Australian coach Darren Lehmann said that both Johnson and Warner were ‘good fellas’
Lehmann also said Johnson would have thought ‘long and hard’ about the column.
‘He has a bit to say and it has been an interesting 24 to 48 hours … with what has happened behind the scenes,’ he said on RSN 927 in Melbourne.
‘I suppose that is what you have got to do as a journalist sometimes. If you go into that field, you have to have an opinion. He has his thoughts and penned them in a paper and that makes different reading for different people.
‘Mitch has been involved in the set up for a long period of time. He sort of knows what is going on. Whether you agree with it or not, it is his opinion and he is entitled to that.’