Johnson’s explosive comments revisited the sandpaper gate scandal and criticized Warner’s desire for a farewell Test in Sydney. The column was triggered by a “quite personal” message Johnson received from Warner in April, responding to an article where Johnson’s wife, Candice, defended Warner’s spot in the Test team.
Speaking at an event in Parramatta, Warner chose to laugh off Johnson’s statements, suggesting that an Australian cricket summer wouldn’t be complete without a headline. Acknowledging that everyone is entitled to an opinion, Warner, who is set to play his final red-ball series against Pakistan, emphasized that he has grown accustomed to such criticism throughout his career.
“It would not be a summer of cricket without a headline. It is what it is. Everyone is entitled to an opinion. But moving forward, we are looking to a nice Test over in the west,” Warner commented.
Reflecting on his upbringing, Warner credited his parents for instilling the values of hard work in him. He noted the challenges of the world stage, including media scrutiny and criticism, but also highlighted the positives, especially the support from fans.
“I resonate with where I grew up. For me, it was a great upbringing with my parents, but it taught me every day … to work hard. My parents ingrained that into me,” he shared. “When you get on to the world stage, you don’t realise what goes with that. There is a lot of media. A lot of criticism. But there are also a lot of positives.”
Australia captain Pat Cummins, also a target of Johnson’s criticism in the past, emphasized the team’s camaraderie and the protective stance they take towards each other. Cummins questioned the timing of Johnson’s words, especially considering the recent success of the Australian ODI side winning the World Cup.
“I think sometimes you have to remind yourself of the amount of positive support that is out there. We have played with hundreds and hundreds of people over our careers, and for the most part, everyone is fantastic,” Cummins remarked.
He suggested focusing on the positive aspects of Australian cricket, citing the success of both the men’s and women’s teams in what could be considered one of their most successful seasons.
“There are so many exciting things about Australian cricket at the moment, and I think we should be focusing and talking about that,” Cummins concluded.