Mitchell Johnson's name was conspicuously missing when Triple M released a list of 18 commentators who will be working on their coverage of the first Test against Pakistan in Perth next week. Johnson sparked a firestorm in the Australian cricket community when he took an extraordinary swipe at David Warner and chief selector George Bailey over plans to farewell the veteran opener at the SCG this summer.
The fast-bowling great questioned why Warner was still in the team given his recent form in the Test arena, and declared he didn't deserve a "hero's farewell" because he still hasn't taken full accountability for his role in the ball-tampering scandal of 2018. On Monday, Johnson revealed his swipe was sparked by a text he received from Warner after he wrote a similarly scathing column earlier this year in which he described wife Candice's constant defence of her husband as "cringe".
'NOT THE TRUTH': Johnson rips 'disgusting' response from George Bailey
On Tuesday evening the saga took another interesting turn when Johnson was seemingly dumped from his commentary gig with Triple M. Speaking this week, the 42-year-old said he expected to be in the commentary box for Triple M in Perth for the first Test against Pakistan - starting next Thursday.
But when Triple M released its commentary line-up, Johnson's name was nowhere to be seen. The list includes the likes of Mark Taylor, Greg Blewett, Merv Hughes, Mark Waugh, Brad Haddin, Callum Ferguson, Aaron Finch, Darren Lehman, Ian Botham and Wasim Akram, but not Johnson.
Interestingly, Candice Warner is currently employed by Triple M and has a regular radio spot with the network - which could go some way to explaining Johnson's omission. Discussing the situation on Tuesday afternoon, Candice said she and husband David were doing OK after Johnson's explosive comments.
"We're doing well," she said at the launch of this year's IronMan and IronWoman series. "David's home. He's been away for three months so to have him home now and be together as a family in the lead-up to Christmas is always special.
"It's really lovely for David to have that support but he's a good human being and at the end of the day that's all that matters. He's always in a good head space."
Mitchell Johnson reveals text sparked swipe at David Warner
Johnson appears to have fallen out with the majority of his former teammates in recent years, with his comments in the media not sitting well with the current group. As well as his multiple swipes at David and Candice Warner, he also branded the current playing group "gutless" over the way in which Justin Langer departed as head coach of the national men's team.
Discussing his latest swipe at Warner and Bailey on Monday, the fast bowler said he was motivated by 'disrespectful' text messages he received from both men. Warner didn't take kindly to Johnson's comments about Candice back in April and let Johnson know via a text message.
“I got a message from Dave, which was quite personal and I tried to ring him to talk to him about it,” he 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 (to write the latest column)."
Johnson said he also received a text from Bailey when he questioned why Cricket Australia was opting to rest young fast bowlers like Lance Morris. "I probably was set off by receiving a message from him (Bailey) at odd hours in the morning and him not showing the respect to make a phone call. That’s pretty much that," he revealed.
“The thing I struggle with the most is not having those phone calls. I would have preferred to have a conversation with those guys, face-to-face. The best way to do it. To get those messages I felt it was disrespectful."
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