Everyone’s entitled to their opinions: Warner to Johnson


PTI, Dec 8, 2023, 12:16 PM IST

Credit: AFP photo

Veteran opener David Warner on Friday ignored former Australia pacer Mitchell Johnson’s scathing attack on him for setting his own retirement date, saying that ”everyone’s entitled to their opinions”.

In a newspaper column, Johnson had questioned whether Warner had been in strong enough form to set his own retirement date. Johnson had also opened up old wounds by referencing Warner’s role in the ball-tampering saga in South Africa.

The 37-year-old Warner had expressed his desire for a Sydney farewell after the third and final Test against Pakistan starting from January 3, 2024. The three-match Test series starts in Perth on December 14.

Warner, who has scored 8,487 runs from 109 Tests since making his debut in 2011, refused to be drawn into the controversy, saying his former teammate is entitled to his opinions, however scathing.

”It wouldn’t be a summer without a headline, would it?” he asked at the launch of Fox Cricket’s summer coverage in Parramatta on Friday, according to cricket.com.au.

”It is what it is. Everyone’s entitled to their own opinions,” the explosive opening batter said in his first comments after Johnson’s scathing attack on him.

”Moving forward, we’re looking forward to a nice Test over in the west.” Since the summer of 2020-21, Warner has managed one Test century from 25 matches — a memorable double-hundred against South Africa in his 100th Test at the MCG in 2022.

Australian selectors have stuck to Warner though they will have to determine his replacement beyond Sydney.

Warner said he learned long ago how to deal with such criticisms.

”My parents ingrained that into me. They taught me every day to fight and work hard.

”When you go onto the world stage and you don’t realise what comes with that, it’s a lot of media, a lot of criticism but a lot of positive.” Australia captain Pat Cummins also said that the Test team would be ”fiercely protective” of the veteran opener in the face of external attacks.

”I think we protect each other a lot. We’ve been through a lot over the years, our boys Someone like Davey or Steve (Smith), I’ve played with them for a dozen years now so we’re fiercely protective of each other,” Cummins said.

”We’ve had arguably our most successful year ever. We’re going into a really exciting summer.

”There’s so many positive things around Australian cricket I think we should be talking about and we’re focusing on that (Johnson’s column).”

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