Mitchell Johnson calls out George Bailey over 'disgusting' response to comments

The Aussie cricket great has taken yet another swipe at Australian selector George Bailey.

Pictured left Mitchell Johnson and right George Bailey
Mitchell Johnson has hit out at George Bailey's comments that insinuated the Aussie great might be struggling mentally after slamming the decision to give David Warner a heroes farewell. Image: Getty

Aussie cricket great Mitchell Johnson has labelled George Bailey "disgusting" for alluding to his mental health issues in response to an explosive swipe. The former fast bowler caused a stir within the Aussie cricket community when he took a shot at David Warner's form and claimed the opener shouldn't be able to announce when he wanted a farewell Test.

In an article for the West Australian, Johnson said Warner should not be afforded the luxury of retiring on his own terms and said announcing when he was going to retire was simply 'arrogant'. "Does this really warrant a swan song, a last hurrah against Pakistan that was forecast a year in advance as if he was bigger than the game and the Australian cricket team," Johnson wrote. "It’s been five years and Warner has still never really owned the ball-tampering scandal. Now the way he is going out is underpinned by more of the same arrogance and disrespect to our country."

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In response, Bailey hit back at Johnson, saying the former fast bowler is out of the loop of how things work and hopes that he is doing okay. "I've been sent little snippets of it - I hope he's OK," Bailey said.

"My only question would be ... if someone can show me how being distant and unaware of what players are going through and what the plans are with their team and the coaching staff, how that's more beneficial, I'd be all ears. Ultimately we still think he's in our best 11 players to win the first Test. We think David is the right person."

ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 11: Mitchell Johnson and David Warner of Australia celebrate the wicket of Virat Kohli of India during day three of the First Test match between Australia and India at Adelaide Oval on December 11, 2014 in Adelaide, Australia.  (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)
Mitchell Johnson and David Warner celebrating the wicket of Virat Kohli in 2014. Image: Getty (Robert Cianflone via Getty Images)

Mitchell Johnson took offence to the George Bailey's comments

Johnson took great offence to Bailey's comments and the allusion to his mental health struggles. "To ask if I’m OK (by George Bailey) because I’ve had mental health issues is pretty much downplaying my article and putting it on mental health, which is quite disgusting,’’ Johnson said on 'The Mitchell Johnson Cricket Show podcast'.

"I'm fine. I’m not angry. I’m not jealous. I’m just writing a piece that for me I felt like I needed to write. It's basically having a dig at someone’s mental health and saying that I must have something going on, a mental health issue, has made me say what I’ve said. That’s not the truth.

"That’s completely the opposite. I’m actually clear-minded. It sort of tries to downplay the questions that I’ve asked in that article … It seems very childish from George and condescending."

Bailey also reportedly texted Johnson to express his displeasure over another column he wrote regarding Cricket Australia forcing young West Australian bowler Lance Morris to rest from Sheffield Shield games. Johnson didn't take too kindly to that message either saying: "He'd sent me a message after the Lance Morris article. It was just a bit condescending. Typical George sort of stuff. When you receive at odd hours in the morning, it was disappointing.

“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.

“And that Lance Morris article was based on my experience as well. I had back stress fractures. I had four of them. I’ve got this position because of my experience. I’ve had a lot of ups and downs. I’ve copped it from the crowds because I bowled a couple of wides in my career and I came out on top. And I feel like I’m in a position to write what I write because I’ve gone through all of it.”

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