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Johnson: I nearly punched KP

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Former Australia fast bowler Mitchell Johnson has revealed he almost punched Kevin Pietersen ahead of the opening Ashes Test of 2009. 

Johnson and the ex-England star regularly sparred verbally on the pitch, but the left-armer revealed in his recently-published autobiography 'Resilient' that he nearly physically attacked Pietersen during the warm-up in Cardiff.

"Things got out of hand during the warm-up for the Test and what happened probably indicates where my head was at," he wrote.

"Kevin Pietersen is a guy who likes to stir things up and I can appreciate that. He knows how to get under people's skin and when we were bowling in the morning he played a few pull shots in our direction.

"It wasn't exactly harmless because we could easily have stood on a ball in our run-ups. I threw a ball back to where he was and I suggested he stop it. Of course, he didn't.

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

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Johnson revealed he was saved - and perhaps Pietersen too - by his team-mate and fellow fast bowler Stuart Clark.

"This was all being played out in full view of spectators who had arrived early and the media. Stu Clark saw it all happen and came rushing over just as we came together and jumped between us.

"KP is a big guy, but I was very worked up. Fortunately, Stu is bigger than both of us because it took a bit to convince me not to go through with what I planned. I am so glad Stu was there."

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