Former Australian cricket captain Ricky Ponting has told David Warner and Mitchell Johnson they need to settle their differences face-to-face. The cricket legend has offered to be the pair's mediator in an attempt to stop the bitter war of words from continuing in a public domain.
Johnson launched an aggressive character assault on Warner last weekend, saying the Aussie Test opener doesn't deserve to be in the side let alone be farewelled at the SCG this summer. Johnson revealed on Monday his latest go at the Test opener was sparked by a 'disrespectful' text message he received from Warner in response to his comments about Warner's wife, Candice, earlier this year. Warner was enraged by the former fast bowler's swipe at his partner and sent his former teammate a text that Johnson labelled "pretty bad".
'UN-AUSTRALIAN': Anthony Mundine slams Mitchell Johnson act
Ponting admitted both Warner and Johnson are "feisty characters" but need to settle their differences. "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," Ponting told Sunrise on Thursday morning.
"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," he said. "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 also stuck up for Warner's plan to retire following the Sydney Test, saying the Test opener hasn't asked for any farewell tour, he has just made it clear as to when he is calling time on his Test career. "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.
Anthony Mundine labels Johnson's attack on Warner 'un-Australian'
Anthony Mundine has called out Johnson's remarks as a "low act" and "un-Australain". The former boxing champion says the public nature of the attack was wrong and says it was a discussion that the pair should have had behind closed doors.
Mundine says he endured similar treatment from at least one ex-teammate in 2000 when he walked away from rugby league, months after his St George Illawarra side lost the controversial 1999 grand final to Melbourne. "It's a low act (from Johnson). Things should be positive. Former teammates, teammates, should stick together. It's un-Australian," Mundine told AAP on Wednesday.
"The same thing happened to me. When I retired from football, I went overseas to clear my mind and clear my head and (former Dragons captain) Craig Smith was giving me a bit of a hammering. He didn't know what I was going through.
"Why wouldn't Mitchell speak to him face to face himself first? There would have been a bit of a relationship there based on those five years (of being Australia teammates)."
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