'P*** take': Mitchell Johnson sledges Ben Stokes over England handshake ban

Chris Young
Sports Reporter

Former Australian fast bowler Mitchell Johnson has taken a potshot at the English cricket team, after news of the latter’s self-imposed ban on handshakes.

England announced earlier this week that the team would not shake hands with each other throughout their upcoming two-Test tour of Sri Lanka, in order to minimise the risk of infection among the team.

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Johnson, a noted antagonist of his English rivals throughout his career, couldn’t help but take a jab at the policy on his Instagram story - including a slightly controversial broadside directed at Ben Stokes.

Sharing a screenshot of an article about the handshake policy, Johnson mocked the team’s decision to use fist bumps instead, before suggesting Stokes might take the friendly gesture too far.

Former Australian fast bowler Mitchell Johnson took to Instagram to take a shot at England's ban on handshakes for their upcoming tour of Sri Lanka. Picture: Instagram/mitchjohnson398

“Is this a p*** take?” Johnson wrote.

“You can jam your fist pump England hahahaha just be careful though, Stokesy might react with a sucker punch.”

England wary of illness spreading through team

After losing several players to illness during their recent Test series against South Africa, England’s ban on handshakes should come as no surprise.

Various players were ruled out throughout the series as gastro and flu swept through the squad.

The testing tour, combined with the emerging coronavirus threat, prompted the English team to enforce the ban on handshakes.

“After the illnesses that swept through the squad in South Africa, we are well aware of the importance of keeping contact to a minimum and we’ve been given some really sound and sensible advice from our medical team to help prevent spreading germs and bacteria,” England captain Joe Root said.

Ben Stokes and Mitchell Johnson didn't see eye to eye on the field, and even in retirement, Johnson couldn't help but sledge his former rival. (Photo by Anthony Devlin/PA Images via Getty Images)

“We are not shaking hands with each other, using instead the well-established fist bump, and we are washing hands regularly and wiping down surfaces using the anti-bacterial wipes and gels we’ve been given in our immunity packs.

“There is no suggestion that the tour will be affected, but of course it is an evolving situation so we are in regular contact with the authorities and will proceed as advised, but at this stage we fully expect the tour to continue as planned.”