‘Last week I was cancelled, this week invited to celebrate with them’ – Mitchell Johnson surprised over CA invitation

Dec 22, 2023

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Mitchell Johnson and David Warner. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Former Australian cricketer Mitchell Johnson has raised eyebrows after receiving an invitation to the 2024 Australian Cricket Awards, just a week after Cricket Australia (CA) canceled two of his speaking engagements.

Expressing his disbelief, Johnson took to Instagram and asked if Cricket Australia was serious as last week he was canceled from two speaking engagements, and this week he was invited to celebrate with them.

“Is Cricket Australia serious? Last week I was canceled from 2 speaking engagements. This week I’m invited to celebrate with them,” the retired fast bowler posted a screenshot of the invitation on his Instagram story along with the lyrics from the song ‘Take the Power Back’ by Rage Against The Machine.

Cricket Australia had recently dropped Johnson from two speaking gigs during the first Test in Perth, citing concerns over his controversial column targeting David Warner and chief selector George Bailey. In the said column, Johnson didn’t hold back, criticizing Warner for his “hero send-off” and questioning Bailey’s impartiality in deciding Warner’s future.

Despite the uproar, Johnson has been actively involved in cricket commentary with Triple M this summer. The 42-year-old maintained silence after being removed from his paid speaking commitments but has now voiced his astonishment at the sudden invitation.

The controversy stems from Johnson’s explosive article for the West Australian, where he delved into past issues, including the infamous Sandpapergate scandal. Johnson later admitted that personal motivations, fueled by earlier messages from Warner and Bailey, prompted him to write the contentious column.

“I tried to ring [Warner] to talk to him about it, which I’ve always been open about with the guys. 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,” he clarified on his Mitchell Johnson Cricket Show podcast with broadcaster Bharat Sundaresan.

Warner, unfazed by Johnson’s critique, took to the field in the opening Test against Pakistan, silencing the critics with an impressive 164. The cricketer shrugged off the controversy, stating that Johnson is entitled to his opinions.

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