David Johnson’s life of thunderbolts and struggles

David Johnson’s career was about quick thunderbolts while his life away from the field was distilled into the slow descent. The news of his death at 52 caused shock-waves in Bengaluru on Thursday and gradually spread to the rest of the cricketing world.

The Anglo-Indian from Arsikere had carved a space for himself among the Karnataka speedsters of the 1990s. And this was no mean task as the crop featured Javagal Srinath, Venkatesh Prasad, Dodda Ganesh and Mansur Ali Khan.

Many felt that on his day, Johnson was the fastest, even quicker than Srinath.

Yet, consistency eluded him. He could rattle stumps and also lose his line. But he had the heart for a battle and legends like Anil Kumble backed him.

ALSO READ | Former India pacer David Johnson passes away

He once blew aside Kerala in a Ranji Trophy game with a match haul of 10 for 152 in the 1995-96 season. Soon he made his stride into the India Test whites but ended up with just two games and three wickets.

Back in the first-class circuit, he either toiled or vanished. Meanwhile Ganesh, who also lost his India spot, soldiered on for Karnataka and stayed in the reckoning for an India call-up, even if it finally culminated in him playing for India A.

Johnson’s 125 first-class wickets are a testimony to the skills he had and the speed he possessed but there came a phase when his life beyond the boundary, became fodder for rumour mills.

Fond of the good things in life, Johnson had monetary issues to deal with. There was a time he used to stay in Bengaluru’s Vivek Nagar and he was a friendly presence in the area’s bakeries, always finding time for a chat.

There was an ease in the manner in which he dealt with people, sadly the same ease was never evident in his life. A long struggle found a full-stop on Thursday, leaving his grieving family with some memories to lean upon.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *