David Warner's former teammate Mitchell Johnson has taken aim at his wife Candice, taking exception to her public defence of her husband ahead of the Ashes. Last week, Candice questioned who Australian selectors would bring in if they feel David isn't up to the task of opening the batting when the Ashes kick off in June.
Question marks remain over David's place in the Aussie Test side, with many calling for him to be axed after a string of low scores across the last 12 months. However Candice publicly questioned whether there was a better option than her husband if selectors feel they need to make a change.
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When asked on Fox Sports program 'The Back Page' whether David needs to perform in order to retain his spot, Candice replied: “Absolutely, he does. But so does the whole team.”
When it was put to Candice that David has never scored a century in England and averages in the mid-20s in the UK, she said: “I get all that, but if Dave doesn’t perform in that first Test, who do they bring in that’s better?”
The Aussies have picked fringe openers Marcus Harris and Matt Renshaw in their squad for the Ashes, while Travis Head performed brilliantly when deputising for Warner at the top of the order in India. But just like Warner, none of them have many runs on the board in English conditions.
Despite this, Johnson hit out at Candice on Monday in a scathing swipe at his former teammate's wife. Describing her comments as 'weird and cringey', Johnson took aim at Candice's public call-out of the Aussie selectors and David's teammates.
“We’ve all appreciated Warner’s tremendous career as an opener and what he’s achieved. But that’s not what it’s about. His form has not been up to scratch for a while now,” Johnson wrote for the West Australian.
“Warner even had his wife Candice defending him in her panel role on the TV show 'The Back Page' this week. Her loyalty might be admirable but it was all a bit weird and cringey when she said if Dave doesn’t perform in that first Test, who do they bring in that’s better?
“I hate that argument. If players were only judged on their previous achievements then Dennis Lillee would still be opening the bowling for Australia and Ricky Ponting would be batting at No.3.”
Candice Warner calls out Cricket Australia
Candice again went in to bat for her husband on Monday when she accused Cricket Australia of failing to support David in the wake of the ball-tampering scandal of 2018. Warner has hit with a one-year suspension and banned from holding a leadership role in Australian cricket ever again after he was deemed to be the 'mastermind' of a plan that resulted in Cameron Bancroft being caught rubbing sandpaper on the ball during a Test match against South Africa.
“There was no support. Basically from when we left the hotel in South Africa, David was wiped,” Candice said on the Matty Johns Podcast.
“There was no Cricket Australia official helping him. There was nothing. It was basically fend for yourself, see you later. Thanks for your services.
“Probably, we’re going to do our best for you not to ever come back and play cricket for our country again. We’re going to blame you for everything, and that’s what they did.”
Candice also claimed she wasn't offered any real support from CA when fans taunted her by wearing masks of Sonny Bill Williams' face on that same tour of South Africa in 2018 - a reference to her infamous toilet tryst with the footballer in 2007.
“I was even told by someone within Cricket Australia at the time within the team that it’s in the team’s best interest to keep your mouth shut,” she said. “That fired me up, and David up … we have so much respect for the team, but we’re also human beings.
“There was no help, at all. It’s sad, because I learnt to just accept it.”
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