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‘Mitch hasn’t played for years now so maybe there is a beef’ – Michael Clarke speaks up on Warner-Johnson controversy

Dec 4, 2023

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

Former Australian captain Michael Clarke thinks that Mitchell Johnson might have some issues with David Warner. Clarke believes that it’s okay for ex-cricketers to share their thoughts, but he thinks it shouldn’t get personal.

In a recent article for The West Australian, Johnson criticised Warner’s farewell Test series, bringing up the sandpaper scandal and suggesting that Warner doesn’t deserve a grand send-off.

Clarke, speaking on Big Sports’ Breakfast, expressed his uncertainty about whether there’s a problem between Johnson and Warner, especially since Johnson hasn’t played for a while. He emphasised that opinions should be based on what’s best for the team and one’s experience, but they should never become personal. Clarke tries to avoid making things personal and believes that apologies should be offered if it comes across that way.

“Yeah (that’s why I wonder if) maybe I’ve missed something here … Mitch hasn’t played for years now so maybe there is a beef, I don’t know. When you’re in a role like this … if you have an opinion and it’s based on what’s best for the team, or your experience, then go with that. But it should never be personal. I try not to make it personal and if it comes across that way you try and apologize for that because you don’t want that.”

Chief selector George Bailey responded to Johnson’s column by advising him to consider the players’ perspective before giving opinions.

Not everyone is best friends: Clarke 

Clarke acknowledged that both Johnson and Warner are strong characters, but he doesn’t recall them having issues when they played together. He mentioned that in every sports team, not everyone gets along, but he couldn’t say for sure that there was a problem between Johnson and Warner during their time on the same team.

“In every sporting team. Not everybody gets on. Not everyone is best friends. Dave is a strong character, Mitch is a strong character, (and 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.”

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