Cricket Australia 2023, news: Michael Vaughan backs David Warner in Mitchell Johnson feud

Michael Vaughan has thrown his support firmly behind David Warner in the wake of Mitchell Johnson’s controversial column, saying he’s a cricket “legend” who deserves to be free from the shadows of Sandpapergate.

Warner has once again dominated the headlines heading into the Test summer of cricket, but only due to former teammate Johnson attacking the opener in the media.

Among Johnson’s remarks were that Warner “never really owned the ball-tampering scandal”, before calling him “arrogant and disrespectful” in his Test retirement plans.

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Asked by the Daily Telegraph at Kayo’s season launch in Sydney on Friday for his reaction, Fox Cricket commentator Vaughan backed Warner, saying it’s “completely unfair” to keep bringing up Sandpapergate.

“I do think David Warner is a great of the game. Because of what’s happened and because Dave’s had some controversy in his career, I think there’s some people who won’t give him that mantle and won’t talk about him in those lights,” Vaughan told the masthead. “But you only have to look at his record. His record in World Cups.

“I think the only area of his batting that you would say he’s had a vulnerability is Stuart Broad around the wicket with the Duke’s ball.

“Otherwise he’s pretty much dominated throughout the whole of his career and he’s been great to watch.”

Vaughan added that he’s always felt that Warner’s 12-month ban for his involvement in the Cape Town ball-tampering scandal was “too extreme”.

Vaughan also pushed back against Johnson’s suggestion that Warner is having a “victory lap” this summer before finishing up in Aussie Test whites.

He said Warner has merely said he’s “available for selection” and hasn’t assumed he would be playing for Australia as has been suggested.

Vaughan added that Warner is a “legend of the game” and would “go out with a bang” regardless.

“There’s not many players who get the fairytale ending but you would say David Warner if he gets through to that last Test, which I’d back him to do so, he’s earned the right to have that fairytale send-off on his home ground,” he said.

Speaking at the Kayo launch, Warner refused to bite back at Johnson.

“It wouldn’t be a summer without a headline would it,” Warner said.

“It is what it is. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions. But moving forward, looking forward to a nice Test over in the West.”

Originally published as ’Completely unfair’: Vaughan backs ‘legend’ Warner in Johnson feud amid big Sandpapergate call