LITESPORT MITCHELL JOHNSONS mum sent a message to her son from Coolangatta (pop 4,869) on Australias Gold Coast last night. She said: Never forget that I love you mate. Vikki Harber, under attack from retired Aussie leg-spinner Shane Warne and ex-captain Kim Hughes for her public outburst against fiancee Jessica Bratich which has overshadowed Johnsons Ashes series, said: If you could just let Mitch know that I love him, that Im so proud of him. To see him struggling really upsets me. To suggest Im responsible for Australia losing the Ashes series, thats just ridiculous. I mean, yes, Mitchell is a fairly sensitive individual. But I just want to see him do well. Warne, who had his share of off-field dramas, said: Mitchs had some pretty big distractions and Im sure its affected him a fair bit, but you have to deal with it before a Test. You cannot be consumed by it when youre playing. Warne added that tomorrows three- day warm up game at Northampton is crucial for Johnson. If he gets the new ball and continues to spray them, then I dont think Ricky Ponting can use him again and I think hell miss out for the third Test. Fellow paceman Brett Lee, still recovering from a rib injury, didnt bowl in nets this morning and has been ruled out of the Northampton game. He is now unlikely to play unless theres an emergency in the third Test. MITCHELL JOHNSONS Ashes tour is being torn apart by an embarrassing row between his mother and his fiancee. This morning, former captain Kim Hughes went public with his fears that Johnson -- the lethal spearhead of the Aussie attack when they won in South Africa earlier this year -- has hit rock bottom. When the Aussies left for England, John- sons mother Vikki Harber said her son had been stolen from her by fiancee Jes- sica Bratich. Harber slammed Cricket Australia for flying bitchy Bratish, a model and a bronze medallist at the 2005 world karate championships, around the world. Johnson has not taken his mums inter- vention well, and was comfortably Aus- tralias worst bowler in the second Test defeat at Lords, where his wayward first innings efforts went for over six an over. Hughes, who famously burst into tears when he resigned as captain during the 1984/5 Ashes series, told todays Austral- ian: I found it incredibly surprising that his mum said what she did Mitchell Johnson is a pretty sensitive young man and now it looks like he is totally devoid of self-confidence. That really added some extra pressure and he is a young man who has got other things on his mind. When you lose confi- dence in yourself, all of a sudden there are technical things that you lose as well. This has all come on top of the existing pressureof Johnsonhavingtobethestrike bowler in England. This is a young lad who is now battling some pretty serious off-field issues. He thinks deeply about things and it looks like he has hit rock bottom with his confidence. Just from watching Mitchell Johnson you can tell hes not dealing with things well. A club grade cricket bowler could hit 38 Thursday, 23 July 2009 London Lite MITCH BATTLEEx-captain says mum has ruined Ashes for Johnson BY NEAL COLLINS NeverforgetIloveyoumate,saysmummy Rift: Jessica Bratich at Lords Inbrief Haye ho, its a silver lining DAVID HAYE has confirmed he will meet current WBA heavyweight champion Nikolai Valuev on 7 November at a venue to be decided. The 28-year-olds decision to fight the Russian ends speculation about who his next opponent would be, following reports the Londoner had agreed a bout with Vitali Klitschko after pulling out of a fight with Klitschkos brother Wladimir because of a back injury. Langers just in front of Sir Don JUSTIN LANGER became the highest-scoring Australian batsman in first-class cricket at Worcester today when he overhauled Sir Donald Bradmans career total of 28,067 runs. The 38-year-old Somerset captain took 20 minutes to score the six runs he needed having resumed with 89 to his name on the third morning of the rain-delayed LV County Championship match against Worcestershire. Swimsuit row is wearing thin TRIPLE world medallist Liam Tancock wants FINA to introduce definitive rules on swimsuits. The fastest Brit is finalising his preparations for the World Championships in Rome against a backdrop of confusion in the sport after the governing body made a U-turn and permitted the use of all-polyurethane suits. Tancock said: Its a nightmare and its annoying but we have to deal with it. Cyclist Di Luca in Giro check FORMER Giro dItalia winner Danilo Di Luca has been provisionally suspended after testing positive for CERA, the International Cycling Union confirmed today. The 2007 Giro champion returned two positive blood samples during this years race, on 20 and 28 May. The 33-year-old, who finished the Giro in second place and won two stages, has been suspended until a disciplinary hearing is held. Quins Saint all that bad really CHRIS MELLING insists Harlequins RL should not panic -- despite losing their last five Super League fixtures. The former Great Britain international says Quins are even capable of upsetting league leaders St Helens on Saturday. Melling said: Injuries have disrupted things a little bit and five losses on the bounce doesnt help but were not a million miles away from a good performance. THE SERIESESES FIRSTTEST Cardiff,matchdrawn SECONDTEST Lords,Englandwin THIRDTEST Edgbaston,30July-3Aug FOURTHTEST Headingley,7-11Aug FIFTHTEST TheBritOval,20-24Aug I find it surprising his mum said what she said, hes sensitive -- Kim Hughes on Johnsons mum A club bowler could do better than him in the last few Tests -- Kim Hughes on Johnsons bowling Mums the word: Mitchell Johnson is floored at Lords, where he went for 6.09 runs per over (see LiteSports headline below) in the COOK DISHES IT UP ON A PLACID MITCH the pitch better than he has done the last few Tests. Johnson is expected to play in the three- day tour game at Northampton starting tomorrow as the Aussies desperately attempt to bowl him back into form with Brett Lee still suffering from a rib injury. Coach Tim Nielsen said: We need to keep things in perspective. Hes had a bril- liant two years. Were not walking away from the fact that he didnt have a great Test at Lords buthegotbetterastheTestwenton,which is pleasing. Hes been too good for us just to think hes not going to play at Edgbaston. Nielsen said Johnsons confidence had taken a po unding but claimed the fast bowler also had technical problems with his action that needed fixing. BY NEAL COLLINS MOTHER TO BLAME? PAGE 5 index.html2.html3.html4.html5.html6.html7.html8.html9.html10.html11.html12.html13.html14.html15.html16.html17.html18.html19.html20.html21.html22.html23.html24.html25.html26.html27.html28.html29.html30.html31.html32.html33.html34.html35.html36.html37.html38.html39.html