Former Australian cricket captain Michael Clarke has pointed the finger at Mitchell Johnson and Candice Warner for breaking a sporting taboo during the ex-bowler’s scathing attack on her husband David.
Johnson wrote that Warner has not ‘warranted a hero’s send off’ this summer despite the opening batsman’s long and decorated career, pointing to his involvement in the Sandpapergate cheating scandal in 2018.
The comment has torn open old wounds between the pair, after Johnson had earlier called for his former teammate to be dropped from the Test side during The Ashes.
That sparked a response from Candice, who said the former paceman’s opinions are irrelevant and ‘don’t have a lot of merit’.
Candice Warner has been accused of breaking a sporting taboo by getting involved in her husband’s long-running clash with Mitchell Johnson
Former Aussie skipper Clarke (pictured) had a message for Candice and Johnson: ‘You don’t need to be saying that stuff in the media’
Now Clarke has hit out at the pair as he accused them of dragging family members into the clash after Johnson called the batter’s wife ‘weird and cringey’ and she accused him of using her husband’s name because it’s the ‘only way he gets a headline’.
Speaking on his Sky Sports radio show on Wednesday morning, Clarke said: ‘I don’t like seeing families getting involved.
‘When a parent, when a friend, when a partner gets involved, I don’t like that.
‘I don’t like anyone talking about someone’s family or someone else’s partner … it’s just too much.’
‘If I get dropped and my dad comes out and says, what a s**t selection, I know he’s only looking after his son, but Dad, mate, that’s not helping anyone.
‘He can say it to me, say it to Mum, say it to my sisters, say it to our friends at the pub, but you don’t need to be saying that stuff in the media.
‘I don’t mind players having disagreements and not talking and I don’t mind seeing players see life differently and going [their] separate ways.
Candice accused Johnson of using her husband’s name because it was the only way he could make headlines anymore after the ex-bowler’s first attack on David over his Test retirement
Johnson responded by calling his ex-teammate’s wife ‘weird and cringey’
‘You’d love everyone to be friends, but that’s not the case. I don’t like seeing families involved. It’s too personal for me.’
Johnson attacked Warner for not deserving a stage-managed farewell to Test cricket at the SCG in January after his role in the 2018 Sandpapergate cheating scandal in South Africa.
He later revealed that was partly prompted by a text message Warner sent him 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.’
In May, Candice slammed Johnson after he first made his opinions about her husband’s Test farewell known in a newspaper column.
‘It doesn’t surprise me because he doesn’t have a lot to do with media anymore and I feel like the only way he gets a headline is by using David’s name,’ she said.
Clarke (pictured during a Test in 2015) is still hoping Warner and Johnson can ‘have a coffee together’ and put the episode behind them
Johnson appears to have been axed from his commentary role with Triple M radio just days before the first Test against Pakistan begins in Perth
‘Everyone takes his comments with a grain of salt. They don’t have a lot of merit.’
Johnson appears to have been axed from his commentary role with Triple M radio amid the row.
He said he will be in the commentary box at Optus Stadium for the first Test of the summer, with fans avidly looking forward to an awkward encounter between the two foes in Perth.
However, the radio station did not include the Ashes hero in their list of 18 commentators for the summer of cricket.
Clarke had some suggestions for how Warner and Johnson can put the stoush behind them.
‘I’d love to see them just [get] away from the world and sit together,’ he said on Wednesday.
‘Have a coffee together, or just have a phone conversation. No matter what it is, you’d like to think it could be fixed.’