CRICKET'S pay dispute is getting personal.
On Monday, former Test openers Michael Slater and Ed Cowan went toe-to-toe on Sydney radio in a spicy debate about the ongoing pay dispute between Cricket Australia and its now-unemployed players.
A day later and Slater has again copped a whack - this time a social media bouncer from retired paceman Mitchell Johnson, who took aim at Slater's love of fast cars and flashy lifestyle during his playing days.
Johnson has been vocal in his support of the Australian Cricketers' Association in the pay dispute battle, and was commenting on a story in which Ian Healy argued both sides needed to come to a resolution quickly.
But on his mind was Slater's impassioned defence of CA on Monday.
"@mj_slats if you think it's about money then you have no idea what you're talking about!" Johnson Tweeted on Tuesday.
"The players past & present need the ACA's support for the future of the game for many reasons.
"Yes a fair share is part of it & it's disappointing a past player doesn't support the players.
"I bet @mj_slats would be on the players' side if he was still playing #Ferrari."
Slater earned the ire of current players with his strong stance in support of CA's position during a 16-minute interview with Cowan, who was a guest on Slater's Sky Sports Radio breakfast show.
Cowan argued the ACA's stance had as much to do with good governance as it did players' income.
"We've shown, not just us but the world, that dictatorships don't work, so what we're trying to do is create a genuine partnership," Cowan said.
"So the game can grow and prosper and there's a check and balance in decision making. They (CA) have proven in the past they don't spend money in the right areas."
Slater disagreed, suggesting the scrap is "all about money", a point Johnson took exception to.
"What is this partnership rubbish?" Slater quipped, kickstarting a terse back-and-forth.
"What does that mean?
"You're telling me this whole fight is not over money?"
Cowan was unimpressed with Slater's approach, firing back at the 47-year-old.
"Let me finish. Let me finish," he said.
"Otherwise it's not a fair conversation.
"I think your view is seriously impeded by your job at Channel Nine."
The incredulous host, who scored more than 5000 Test runs for Australia, snapped back that his opinion has "absolutely nothing to do with me being at Channel Nine".
"I'm an ex-cricketer who got paid to play the game and I never walked out there thinking about whether I was a partner," Slater, who played under a revenue-share model, said.