Mitchell Johnson admits he was close to hitting Kevin Pietersen in Ashes bust-up

Australia v England - Fourth Test: Day 3

This isn't the first time Kevin Pietersen has been known to disrupt the usually gentlemanly sport of cricket, but Australian legend Mitchell Johnson has claimed Pietersen's provocation almost led to the two coming to blows during the Ashes series in 2009.  

The Aussie bowler, who retired from international cricket last year, revealed that Pietersen had deliberately goaded him during a warm-up in Cardiff seven years ago.

Johnson had been struggling with personal problems during the 2009 series and Pietersen supposedly exploited these issues to provoke the Aussie star. 


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Johnson said that the bust-up began during the warm-up, when Pietersen kept hitting balls towards him.

He said: "I threw a ball back to where he was and I suggested he stop it. Of course, he didn’t.

"When he hit another one towards me I kicked it as far as I could in the other direction. Words were exchanged and KP crossed the line in what he said.

"He got really personal and I’m not going to dignify his comments by repeating them."

Whilst Johnson wouldn't repeat KP's comments, he did say they were in relation to his family.

“There are limits to what you can say. I am sure everyone knows the line.

"You can’t bring family or stuff like that in it and I’m sure he knew had gone too far, but he did it on purpose because he wanted to get me going.” 

Australia v England - Fourth Test: Day 3

It is unknown whether the comments made by Pietersen were to do with Johnson's mother being very public over her disapproval of his then girlfriend, now wife, Jessica.

Whatever Pietersen's exact comments were, they were enough to cause the bowler to get physical with the England batsman, as he admitted the red mist took over him.

“The red mist descended and I stormed in his direction with every intention in the world of hitting him.

"Stu Clark saw it all happen and came rushing over just as we came together and jumped between us."

Australia v England - Fourth Test: Day 3

Away from the off-field arguments, both Johnson and Pietersen were disappointing in the 2009 Ashes.

The Aussie was heavily criticised for his poor and inconsistent bowling, whilst KP struggled with an Achilles injury early on before being ruled out midway through the series.

England did eventually win the 2009 Ashes series 2-1.

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