Hobart, Dec 4 (IANS): Former Australia Test captain Tim Paine said he agrees with certain pointers from ex-fast bowler Mitchell Johnson’s column, but added that him attacking chief selector George Bailey was a bit unnecessary.
In his column for The West Australian, Johnson slammed David Warner and his plans to retire from Test cricket following Australia’s three-game series against Pakistan and brought up the infamous sandpaper scandal again. He then took aim at Bailey, the former captain and Paine’s close friend, for not being hard on Warner as a chief selector.
“I think a lot of his (Johnson's) article, he raised some pretty valid points. The George stuff I didn’t love, I thought that was a bit unnecessary, but was George too quickly from a player to a selector? It’s a valid question.”
“He obviously thinks he was. I don’t, I worked with George and I think anyone who knows George would never question his integrity or his professionalism or ability to do that job… you look at the success they’ve had as a team, you can't question that. But it is a fair question. He did go very quickly from a player to a coach, he is friends with a lot of those players,” said Paine on SEN Radio.
Paine quit as Australia’s Test captain in November 2021 after the revelation of a texting scandal and never played for the country again. Further talking about Johnson’s attack on Bailey, who became the chief selector in August 2021, Paine said the right call was made with regards to him.
“I can only comment on when I dealt with George. Anything that we had cricket related, retirement related, we were always talking when that might be. The difference with this one was it wasn’t cricket related, the ending of my career. George had a little bit of a conflict of interest, so the professional thing to do was to withdraw himself from that conversation.”
“Not only are we close friends, he knows my family, he knows everything in my life… there was a lot of other sensible people sitting around the table from Cricket Australia who were having discussions. So that was fine by me, I don’t think it was a courage thing.”
“George and I would always have back and forth and (selector) Tony Dodemaide and (high performance manager) Ben Oliver and (former coach) Justin Langer about when I might retire and how were are going to handle it.”
“Everyone was on the same page with that but this was a different unique situation and I think George coming out of that was the sensible and professional thing to do. 100 per cent (he would have been involved if it was a cricket decision), he was, it was always open dialogue.”
Speaking on Warner’s poor recent run in Test cricket and being selected for first Test against Pakistan at Perth, Paine commented, “Mitch raises some great points. Statistically, David hasn’t been playing well and would other people be getting the run he’s getting now? Probably not. But in my opinion, he’s got credits in the bank because he is one of the all-time greats.”
“I didn’t agree with it all but I found myself reading it and asking myself the question and that’s basically want you want in an article. I think you can read between the lines that he and Davey don’t get along… I think they’re just different people, just from what I’m reading.”
“I think the points around the stats and his position in the team and him getting a bit of extra time were probably ruined a bit by the personal nature of it and bringing sandpaper back into it and saying David was a person who used his leadership position for power and stuff like that, I played with David and he certainly didn’t do that.”