Once Canada’s batting star, Davison now mentors Aussie spinners

Playing for Canada, John Davison shot to fame in 2003 World Cup by slamming the fastest century. He hammered a 67-ball century (the fastest till then) against the West Indies

John Davison at a city hotel in Chennai.   -  Shayan Acharya

The shutterbugs were busy capturing each and every moment of Glenn McGrath. As the Australian bowling great — also the director of MRF Pace Foundation — spoke about his memories at the iconic cricket institution, one gentleman was busy clicking a few pictures of McGrath on his phone.

Not many were looking at the gentleman, dressed in a white linen shirt and a pair of denims.

One glimpse would give you the impression that the middle-aged gentleman was just another foreign delegate who was in the city to attend MRF Pace Foundation’s 25-year celebration with Cricket Australia.

But then, he is the one who shot to fame in 2003 World Cup by slamming the fastest century. He is John Davison!

Does the name ring a bell? The destructive batsman, playing for Canada, had taken the cricketing world by storm as he hammered a 67-ball century (the fastest till then) against the West Indies.

“Oh yeah, I have grown a beard. Some grey hairs… Maybe that’s why they don’t recognise me,” he laughed, while speaking to Sportstar in the sidelines of the event.

A middle-order batsman and a right-arm spinner, Davison is now associated with the spin bowling department at Cricket Australia. And that’s what brought him to Chennai. “I am running the spin bowling department at Cricket Australia and I work personally with the players,” Davison said.

Cheerful and fun loving, Davison loves playing golf when he is not busy with cricket. And, when he’s not playing golf, one would find him working with Australia’s star spinner Nathan Lyon. “It has been a great experience working with him. It was good to see him doing well in the series against India. He’s of 29-30; he achieved success under a lot of pressure. The Sri Lanka series didn’t go the way he wanted it. But to come back and bowl so well, was good,” he said, adding that accuracy made Lyon stand out.

While Davison believes he’s lucky to have played alongside Shane Warne, the 47-year-old has no regrets. The fact that today’s generation hasn’t heard of him doesn’t bother him either. “Playing for Canada was my way of getting into the international cricket. I feel lucky about it. There are absolutely no regrets.”

Coming from an associate nation, it wasn’t easy to make your presence felt. Davison just did that his way!

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