Mitchell Johnson vs David Warner: Ricky Ponting offers to be mediator to solve feud between Australian stars

Written by Mohan Sharma

Australia great Ricky Ponting has urged former teammates Mitchell Johnson and David Warner to have a “face-to-face conversation” and chalk out their differences. Ponting also offered to be a mediator in the aftermath of Johnson’s hard-hitting column in the Australian publication and the explosive fallout that has dominated the cricket discourse in the lead-up to next week’s first Test against Pakistan at Optus Stadium.

“I have to get in between these two guys at some stage … I think I need to be the mediator and get them both in a room and let them have it out rather than playing it out in the media. They’re both pretty feisty characters and we know this issue that’s come up now goes back six or eight months, back to the Ashes selection. That’s where it all started. It sounds like an issue that’s gone on without either of them sitting down and having a face-to-face conversation. I’d like to see that happen,” Ponting told Sunrise on Thursday.

Johnson believes Warner did not deserve to be given farewell in the third Test of the home series against Pakistan. Johnson claimed that Warner had not accepted full responsibility for his role in the Sandpaper-gate scandal in South Africa in 2018, which resulted in a 12-month ban. The former Australian pacer wanted to know “why a player at the center of one of the biggest scandals in Australian cricket history warrants a hero’s send-off”.

“As we prepare for David Warner’s farewell series, can somebody please tell me why? Why does a struggling Test opener get to nominate his own retirement date? And why a player at the centre of one of the biggest scandals in Australian cricket history warrants a hero’s send-off?” Johnson wrote in a column.

“He is not the one that’s coming out saying all this stuff about a farewell tour, he just wants to do line up next week in Perth in that Test match and score some runs and he’s made it clear he wants to finish off in Sydney,” Ponting said while backing Warner.

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Mohan Sharma