Michael Clarke has called out the actions of both Mitchell Johnson and Candice Warner in bringing family members into a public and personal spat. Johnson shocked the cricket world over the weekend with the personal nature of his swipe at David Warner, declaring he doesn't deserve to leave the Test cricket arena on his terms and shouldn't be in the team at all.
Johnson later revealed that his latest swipe came about because of a text message he'd received from Warner in response to comments he made about Candice earlier this year. Johnson said it was "weird and cringey" that Candice was constantly defending her husband in the media after an appearance on the 'Back Page' in which she publicly shot down the credentials of other batters around the country vying for Test selection.
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Warner sent Johnson an angry text after his swipe at Candice, which Johnson revealed this week was the catalyst for his latest swipe. Discussing the situation on Wednesday, former Test captain Clarke said both Johnson and Candice Warner crossed the line by speaking about family members.
“I don’t like seeing families involved,” Clarke said on Sky Sports radio. “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 – and I’m not having a go at Mitch, I’m not having a go at Candice, I’m not having a go at David - it’s just too much.”
Clarke, who played with both Johnson and David Warner, said the beef should never have been aired publicly. “If I get dropped and my dad comes out and says, ‘What a shit selection’. I know he’s only looking after his son, but dad, mate, that’s not helping anyone,” Clarke said.
“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 separate ways. 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.”
Michael Clarke hoping for resolution to Johnson-Warner spat
The former captain said he was hopeful that all parties could come together and work out their differences. “It sounds like, from what we’ve been reading there’s some beef there, but I’d love to see them, just away from the world and sit together,” he said.
“Have a coffee together. Or just have a phone conversation. No matter what it is, you’d like to think it could be fixed. Sometimes it’s not possible. Sometimes you try your best and the other person doesn’t want that and you have to accept that. If that’s the way Mitch feels about Davey and George (Bailey) then that’s OK as well. Mitch has got his own life, his wife and his kids. His job.”
Brad Haddin, who was Clarke's vice-captain for the majority of his career, agreed that Johnson went too far. “It looked like a bit of an aggressive attack on Davey’s personality, which I don’t think you need," the former wicket-keeper said in regards to Johnson labelling Warner 'arrogant and disrespectful'. "Yes, you can have an opinion on what you think the team should be, but I don’t like when past players go really hard in a personal angle to the players and it felt a little bit like that to me.”
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