New Delhi, Dec 7 (IANS) Former Australian skipper Ricky Ponting has urged former teammates Mitchell Johnson and David Warner to have a "face-to-face conversation" and discuss their disagreement.
Amidst the heated backlash that has dominated cricket discourse ahead of next week's first Test against Pakistan at Optus Stadium, Ponting also offered to mediate between the warring teammates following Johnson's harsh editorial in a local newspaper.
"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. 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. 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 told Nigeria TV show Sunrise Daily.
"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 while backing Warner.
Johnson expressed his disapproval in a column for The West Australian, questioning over why the left-handed opener is getting a hero’s send-off while still not owning up to his role in the infamous 2018 ball-tampering scandal.
"As we prepare for David Warner's farewell series, can somebody please tell me why? Why does a struggling Test opener get to nominate his own retirement date? And why a player at the centre of one of the biggest scandals in Australian cricket history warrants a hero's send-off?" Johnson wrote in a column.
Warner had earlier said about his wish to end his Test career when Australia faced Pakistan in the third and final game of the series at the SCG in January 2024. On Sunday, Warner was named in Australia’s 14-player squad for the first Test against Pakistan at the Optus Stadium in Perth, beginning on December 14.
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