- Mitchell Johnson could commentate during the Perth Test
- Johnson and David Warner have been embroiled in a public spat
- They may cross paths when Australia take on Pakistan
Mitchell Johnson and David Warner could be set for an awkward reunion this summer after the former fast bowler claimed he will commentate the clash between Australia and Pakistan next Thursday.
Johnson said he will be in the commentary box at Optus Stadium for the first Test of the summer with Triple M, although the radio station did nor include the Ashes hero in their list of 18 commentators.
If he does get the call up, it could lead to tense scenes if Johnson bumps into Warner or national team selector George Bailey amid a heated row that has divided cricket.
Johnson blasted the decision to include Warner – who has averaged 22.81 runs in Test cricket this year – in the team for the opening Test, and insisted the opener should not receive a hero’s farewell given his role in the sandpaper scandal of 2018.
Bailey, who Johnson accused of being too close to the playing group, responded by questioning the former bowler’s mental health – a reaction that left Johnson ‘disgusted’.
Mitchell Johnson (right) and David Warner (left) could cross paths next week
Warner has been embroiled in a very public spat with his former Australia teammate
Johnson has since claimed the motivation for his uncompromising column bashing Warner was an acid-tinged text message that Warner sent his former teammate in April.
‘I got a message from Dave, which was quite personal and I tried to ring him to talk to him about it,’ Johnson said on The Mitchell Johnson Cricket Show podcast.
‘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. There was some stuff in there which was extremely disappointing, what he said, and pretty bad to be honest. That sort of was a bit of a driver.’
Reflecting on Bailey’s comment, Johnson said: ‘To ask if I’m OK because I’ve had mental health issues is pretty much downplaying my article and putting it on mental health, which is quite disgusting,’ he said.
‘I’m fine. I’m not angry. I’m not jealous. I’m just writing a piece that for me I felt like I needed to write.
‘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’ve said. That’s not the truth.’
Johnson also doubled down on his attacks on Warner in the podcast.
Johnson says he will be on commentary duty for the first Test against Pakistan
He also hit out at George Bailey for his ‘disgusting’ remark about his mental health
‘It sort of feels like it ties in. The selectors have talked about picking guys on form,’ Johnson said.
‘If you look at David’s form, because the article is about him. His form in England wasn’t great. So you sort of go that’s not picking someone on form.
I’ve written good articles about David as well. I’ve always said that I’m a very different thinker. I’m not a traditional cricket player. I didn’t play a lot at a young age. I didn’t grow up with it as much as others. I always questioned things and had a different thought process.
‘And I probably was set off by receiving a message from him [Bailey] at odd hours in the morning and him not showing the respect to make a phone call. That’s pretty much that.’