Bill Johnston (cricketer)


Bill Johnston (cricketer)

Infobox cricketer biography
playername = Bill Johnston


country = Australia
fullname = William Arras Johnston
nickname = Big Bill
living =
dayofbirth = 26
monthofbirth = 2
yearofbirth = 1922
placeofbirth = Beeac, Victoria
countryofbirth = Australia
dayofdeath = 25
monthofdeath = 5
yearofdeath = 2007
placeofdeath = Mosman, New South Wales
countryofdeath = Australia
heightft =
heightinch =
heightm =
batting = Right-hand
bowling = Left-arm orthodox spin or fast medium
role = Specialist bowler
international =
testdebutdate = 28 November
testdebutyear = 1947
testdebutagainst = India
testc

lasttestdate = 11 June
lasttestyear = 1955
lasttestagainst = West Indies
odidebutdate =
odidebutyear =
odidebutagainst =
odic

lastodidate =
lastodiyear =
lastodiagainst =
odishirt =
club1 = Victoria
year1 = 1945–1955
clubnumber1 =
club2 =
year2 =
clubnumber2 =
club3 =
year3 =
clubnumber3 =
club4 =
year4 =
clubnumber4 =
deliveries =
columns = 2
column1 = Tests
matches1 = 40
runs1 = 273
bat avg1 = 11.37
100s/50s1 = 0/0
top score1 = 29
deliveries1 = 11048
wickets1 = 160
bowl avg1 = 23.91
fivefor1 = 7
tenfor1 = 0
best bowling1 = 6/44
catches/stumpings1 = 16/0
column2 = FC
matches2 = 142
runs2 = 1129
bat avg2 = 12.68
100s/50s2 = 0/0
top score2 = 38
deliveries2 = 34576
wickets2 = 554
bowl avg2 = 23.35
fivefor2 = 29
tenfor2 = 6
best bowling2 = 8/52
catches/stumpings2 = 52/0
column3 =
matches3 =
runs3 =
bat avg3 =
100s/50s3 =
top score3 =
deliveries3 =
wickets3 =
bowl avg3 =
fivefor3 =
tenfor3 =
best bowling3 =
catches/stumpings3 =
column4 =
matches4 =
runs4 =
bat avg4 =
100s/50s4 =
top score4 =
deliveries4 =
wickets4 =
bowl avg4 =
fivefor4 =
tenfor4 =
best bowling4 =
catches/stumpings4 =
date = 29 February
year = 2008
source = [http://www.cricketarchive.com/Archive/Players/0/794/794.html]

William Arras Johnston (26 February 1922–24 May 2007) was an Australian cricketer who played in forty Test matches from 1947 to 1955. A left arm pace bowler, as well as a left arm orthodox spinner, Johnston was best known as a spearhead of Don Bradman's undefeated 1948 touring team, well known as "The Invincibles". Johnston headed the wicket-taking lists in both Test and first-class matches on the tour, and was the last Australian to take over 100 wickets on a tour of England. In recognition of his performances, he was named by "Wisden" as one of its Cricketers of the Year in 1949. The publication stated that "no Australian made a greater personal contribution to the playing success of the 1948 side". Regarded by Bradman as Australia's greatest-ever left-arm bowler, Johnston was noted for his endurance in bowling pace with the new ball and spin when the ball had worn. He became the fastest bowler to reach 100 Test wickets in 1951–52, at the time averaging less than nineteen with the ball. By the end of the season, he had played 24 Tests and contributed 111 wickets. Australia won nineteen and lost only two of these Tests. In 1953, a knee injury forced him to remodel his bowling action, and he became less effective before retiring after aggravating the injury in 1955. In retirement, he worked in sales and marketing, and later ran his own businesses. He had two sons, one of whom became a cricket administrator. Johnston died at the age of 85 in May 2007.

Early years

Johnston took up cricket from an early age, playing with his elder brother Allan throughout the year on a backyard pitch on the family’s dairy farm, owned by his father. Beeac’s local team, which competed in the Colac District Association, occasionally had difficulty in assembling a full side. As a result, Johnston made his debut aged only twelve alongside his brother after an invitation from his schoolteacher. On debut, when a draw became a foregone conclusion, Johnston was allowed to bowl the final over, taking a wicket maiden. The following season, the brothers led Beeac's attack, continuing to do so after moving to Colac High School, where Bill became captain of the cricket and football teams and head prefect. Johnston left school at sixteen, working in Colac, before following Allan to Melbourne in 1939. He joined Richmond Cricket Club in the Third XI and took 6/16. After five games he was promoted to the Second XI, and made his first grade debut in the last game of the 1939–40 season. The following season, when nineteen, he was selected for Victoria's Sheffield Shield match against Queensland, but the Pearl Harbor attacks forced the cancellation of competitive cricket. Johnston joined the Royal Australian Air Force along with his brother, serving for four years as a radar technician in northern Australia. It was at training camp that he first met Keith Miller. Johnston was not posted overseas, unlike his brother, who died after crashing in Ireland.cite web| title= Wisden 1949 - William Johnston |url=http://content-aus.cricinfo.com/wisdenalmanack/content/story/154626.html| year= 1949 |accessdate=2007-05-25| publisher=Wisden] cite book | last = Cashman, Franks, Maxwell, Sainsbury, Stoddart, Weaver, Webster | year = 1997 | title = The A-Z of Australian cricketers|isbn=0-19-550604-9|publisher= Oxford University Press|location=Melbourne]

First class and Test debut

Prior to the Second World War, Johnston was a slow-medium and left arm orthodox bowler, but during a practice session, he bowled a quicker ball to Jack Ryder a former Australian captain, Victorian selector and Test batsman. This prompted Ryder to wage a personal campaign to induce Johnston to become a pace bowler. Upon the resumption of first-class cricket in 1945–46, Johnston made his Shield debut and entrusted with the responsibility of opening the attack. He felt that the fast bowling was only for short periods with the new ball, and that he would be allowed to revert to spin bowling as the ball became older.

As opportunities for slow bowling became infrequent, he contemplated retirement. Although he dismissed Cyril Washbrook in the first over of Victoria's match against Wally Hammond's touring England team of 1946–47, he was skeptical about his pace bowling. It took further encouragement from Australian captain Don Bradman after he played against Bradman's South Australians. Bradman told Johnston that the selectors thought highly of his potential as a medium-fast bowler to reinforce the short bursts of pace spearheads Ray Lindwall and Keith Miller and that pace bowlers were in short supply. Johnston practised his pace bowling with new vigour, and at the start of the 1947–48 season, took an opening burst of 3/0 for Victoria against the touring Indian team. He was rewarded with selection for four of the five Tests against India, making his debut on a sticky wicket in the First Test in Brisbane,cite news|title=Obituaries:Bill Johnston| url=http://news.independent.co.uk/people/obituaries/article2584120.ece| publisher=The Independent |date=2007-05-25 |accessdate=2007-06-01] taking 2/17 as India fell for 58 in the first innings and 1/11 in the second as India fell for 98 following on, resulting in an innings defeat. He took match figures of 5/48 in the Second Test in another innings victory. The Third Test was Johnston's first Test in front of his home crowd of the Melbourne Cricket Ground. In the first innings, he removed both of India's openers as Australia took a 103-run first innings lead. In the second innings, he did the same and ended with 4/44 as Australia won by 233 runs.cite web| title = 3rd Test Australia v India at Melbourne Cricket Ground Jan 1–5 1948|url=http://content-aus.cricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/62678.html|publisher= Cricinfo|accessdate=2008-08-22] Johnston missed the Fourth Test in Adelaide but returned for the Fifth Test in Melbourne where he scored 23 not out and took match figures of 2/29 in another innings victory. He headed the series averages with 16 wickets at 11.37. This ensured his selection for the 1948 tour of England as part of Bradman's Invincibles.

Invincibles tour

During the Ashes tour, Johnston roomed with Doug Ring who was a team-mate in the Richmond and Victorian cricket teams. As Ring was a leg-spin bowler, he and Johnston were in direct competition for a place in the eleven. Australia had traditionally fielded its first-choice team in the tour opener, which was customarily against Worcestershire. When Johnston was omitted in favour of Ring, it appeared he would not be in Bradman's Test plans. Bradman changed his mind on the morning of the First Test in Trent Bridge when rain was forecast. Johnston was played in the hope of exploiting a wet wicket.cite news| title=Gentrifying the game| first=Gideon | last=Haigh| authorlink=Gideon Haigh| url=http://content-aus.cricinfo.com/ci/content/story/295893.html |publisher=Cricinfo |date=2007-05-26| accessdate=2007-06-01] He showed his credentials by bowling a total of 84 overs to help Australia to grind out a victory.cite news| title= 'Invincible' bowler Johnston dies at 85 |url=http://content-aus.cricinfo.com/ci/content/story/295739.html |date=2007-05-25| accessdate=2007-06-01| publisher=Cricinfo] England batted first and with strike bowler Ray Lindwall breaking down on the first day, Johnston removed Bill Edrich and Joe Hardstaff junior in one over to leave England at 4/46. He returned later in the innings to take 5/36 from 25 overs as England were bowled out for 165.cite web| title = 1st Test England v Australia at Nottingham Jun 10-15 1948|url=http://content-aus.cricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/62685.html|publisher= Cricinfo|accessdate=2007-12-12] Cite web|title= First Test Match ENGLAND v AUSTRALIA |work= Wisden Cricketers' Almanack |year=1949 |url=http://content-aus.cricinfo.com/wisdenalmanack/content/story/152894.html |accessdate=2008-07-02 |publisher=Wisden] After scoring an unbeaten 17 in a last-wicket partnership of 33,cite web|url=http://statserver.cricket.org/guru?sdb=player;playerid=794;class=testplayer;filter=basic;team=0;opposition=0;notopposition=0;season=0;homeaway=0;continent=0;country=0;notcountry=0;groundid=0;startdefault=1947-11-28;start=1947-11-28;enddefault=1955-06-17;end=1955-06-17;tourneyid=0;finals=0;daynight=0;toss=0;scheduledovers=0;scheduleddays=0;innings=0;result=0;followon=0;seriesresult=0;captain=0;keeper=0;dnp=0;recent=;viewtype=aro_list;runslow=;runshigh=;batposition=0;dismissal=0;bowposition=0;ballslow=;ballshigh=;bpof=0;overslow=;overshigh=;conclow=;conchigh=;wicketslow=;wicketshigh=;dismissalslow=;dismissalshigh=;caughtlow=;caughthigh=;caughttype=0;stumpedlow=;stumpedhigh=;csearch=;submit=1;.cgifields=viewtype| title=Statsguru - WA Johnston - Tests - Innings by innings list |publisher=Cricinfo |accessdate=2007-06-01] Johnston bowled 59 overs in the second innings to take 4/147 in Lindwall's absence. Johnston bowled the most overs of any player and was the leading wicket-taker for the match as Australia took a 1–0 lead.

He scored his career Test best of 29 in another tail-wagging performance before taking match figures of 4/105 as Australia took a 2–0 lead in the Second Test at Lord's. Johnston removed Denis Compton, England's leading run-scorer for the series,Fact|date=July 2008 in both innings.cite web| title = 2nd Test England v Australia at Lord's Jun 24–29 1948|url=http://content-aus.cricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/62686.html|publisher= Cricinfo|accessdate=2007-12-12] In an effective containing performance, Johnston took 3/67 in the first innings of the Third Test at Old Trafford in 45.5 overs, before the match ended in a rain-affected draw.cite web| title = 3rd Test England v Australia at Manchester Jul 8-13 1948|url=http://content-aus.cricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/62687.html|publisher= Cricinfo|accessdate=2007-12-12] Cite web|title= Third Test Match ENGLAND v AUSTRALIA |work= Wisden Cricketers' Almanack |year=1949 |url=http://content-aus.cricinfo.com/wisdenalmanack/content/story/152896.html |accessdate=2008-07-02 |publisher=Wisden] After supporting Lindwall in a 48-run partnership in the first innings of the Fourth Test, Johnston took 4/95 in the second innings, including three in the space of 16 runs. Australia went on to break the world record Test run-chases record to take a 3–0 lead. Johnston rounded off the series with match figures of 6/60 in the Fifth Test at The Oval from 43.3 overs. Johnston took the least three wickets in the match as Australia completed a 4–0 series result with an innings victory. In all, Johnston finished with 27 Test wickets at an average of 23.33,Perry, p. 251.] equal to Lindwall.

In both the Test and county matches during the 1948 tour, Johnston carried the heaviest workload, bowling nearly 200 overs more than any other member of the squad. He was the leading wicket-taker with 102 wickets at 16.42,Perry, p. 256.] and the last Australian to take a century of wickets on an Ashes tour. His best performances in the tour games included a match haul of 10/40 against Yorkshire at Bradford, bowling finger spin on a wet pitch, 8/68 against Somerset and 11/117 against Hampshire. After carrying a heavy workload in the early stages of the tour, he was used more sparingly in the latter stages. As the tour progressed Johnston improved his control as he restrained England's batsmen between the new ball bursts of Lindwall and Miller. Johnston finished the season at the top of the first-class bowling averages and was chosen as one of "Wisden's" Five Cricketers of the Year. "Wisden" opined that "no Australian made a greater personal contribution to the playing success of the 1948 side". Jack Fingleton wrote that Australia had never sent a greater left-hander to England.

Later career

Johnston's next assignment was the 1949–50 tour to South Africa. The tour started badly when he fell asleep at the wheel in Durban following a team function and crashed his car. The team manager was informed that Johnston was in danger of dying of head injuries, with Johnston later describing his injury as a "nine-iron divot in the top of my skull". Keith Miller was called to South Africa as emergency cover, [Perry, pp. 266–267.] but Johnston recovered in time for the Tests and both played. Johnston took 2/21 in the first innings of the First Test against South Africa at Johannesburg and the hosts were forced to follow on. He took 6/44 including the last three wickets in the second innings, his career best innings figures in Test cricket, helping Australia take an innings victory and a 1–0 series lead.cite web| title = 1st Test South Africa v Australia at at Ellis Park, Johannesburg Dec 24–28 1949|url=http://content-aus.cricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/62704.html|publisher= Cricinfo|accessdate=2008-08-22] After taking three wickets in the Second Test victory at Cape Town, he was more prominent in the Third at Durban with match figures of 8/114 as Australia took the series 3–0. South Africa had reached 2/242 in their first innings when Johnston removed their captain Dudley Nourse, precipitating a loss of 8/69 as the hosts were bowled out for 311. He ended with 4/75. Australia then collapsed for 75 and South Africa had a lead of 321 when they had reached 2/85 in their second innings. Johnston then removed John Nel and Billy Wade without further addition to the score, sparking a collapse of 8/14 which saw the home team all out for 99. Johnston ended with 4/39 and Australia went on to reach the victory target.cite web| title = 3rd Test South Africa v Australia at Kingsmead, Durban Jan 20–24 1950|url=http://content-aus.cricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/62706.html|publisher= Cricinfo|accessdate=2008-08-22]

He was ineffective in the drawn Fourth Test, taking 1/68 before finishing with 3/22 in the Fifth Test in Port Elizabeth, taking all his wickets in the second innings as Australia completed an innings victory and took the series 4–0. It was a successful tour for Johnston, with 23 wickets at 17.04, taking the most wickets at the lowest average among the Australian pacemen.Fact|date=July 2008

The 1950–51 series against England was Australia's first home series in three years. In the First Test at Brisbane, England were caught on a sticky wicket and Johnston took 5/35 as England declared at 7/68. [Perry, p. 290.] He then took 2/30 in the second inning at Australia took a 1–0 lead. In the Second Test at the MCG, Johnston took 2/28 and 4/26 as Australia scraped home by 28 runs. [Perry, p. 294.] Johnston had quiet Third Test with only one wicket, but he returned to form in the Fourth Test in Adelaide with 3/58 and 4/73 in a 274-run win. [Perry, p. 298.] He struggled in the final Test with match figures of 1/91 as England won their only Test of their series. Johnston led the wicket takers list, with 22 at 19.18.Fact|date=July 2008

The 1951–52 home series was the first tour by the West Indies for two decades decades,cite web|url=http://stats.cricinfo.com/guru?sdb=team;team=AUS;class=testteam;filter=basic;opposition=0;notopposition=0;decade=0;homeaway=0;continent=0;country=0;notcountry=0;groundid=0;season=0;startdefault=1877-03-15;start=1877-03-15;enddefault=2007-11-20;end=2007-11-20;tourneyid=0;finals=0;daynight=0;toss=0;scheduledovers=0;scheduleddays=0;innings=0;followon=0;result=0;seriesresult=0;captainid=0;recent=;viewtype=resultlist;runslow=;runshigh=;wicketslow=;wicketshigh=;ballslow=;ballshigh=;overslow=;overshigh=;bpo=0;batevent=;conclow=;conchigh=;takenlow=;takenhigh=;ballsbowledlow=;ballsbowledhigh=;oversbowledlow=;oversbowledhigh=;bpobowled=0;bowlevent=;submit=1;.cgifields=viewtype |title=Statsguru - Australia - Tests - Results list |publisher=Cricinfo |accessdate=2007-12-21] and Johnston again led the wicket takers with 23 at 22.08,Fact|date=July 2008 as Australia won the series 4–1. Johnston started the series steadily with match figures of 3/90 and 5/141 in the first two Tests, both of which Australia won. In addition, he scored 28 in the Second Test. Johnston's best match performance came in the only loss in the Third Test at Adelaide. This happened when captain Lindsay Hassett was a late withdrawal due to injury, leaving Australia with an unbalanced team with only four specialist batsmen who could not consolidate the work done by the five specialist bowlers. [Benaud, p. 55.] It was in this match that Johnston passed 100 Test wickets, the fastest player to do so. Exploiting a wet patch at the striker's end, [Perry, p. 309.] Johnston took 6/62 in the first innings but was unable to stop an Australian defeat.

At this stage Johnston was at the peak of his career in terms of bowling average and wickets taken per match. In his 24 Tests to the end of the series, he had taken 111 wickets at 19.22, with Australia winning 19 and losing two. In the Fourth Test in Melbourne, Johnston took match figures of 5/110 before coming to the crease in the second innings to partner Doug Ring. Australia were 9/222 in pursuit of 260 for victory. The crowd of 30,000 and the constabulary were resigned to an Australian defeat, with the police officers moving into position to stop the customary pitch invasion at the end of the match.Perry, p. 310.] However, the Richmond teammates had other ideas and put together a last wicket partnership of 38 which sealed an Australian victory by one wicket. As a result, the mayor of Richmond granted the pair the freedom of the city. The scoreboard at Punt Road Oval, Richmond's home ground was named the Ring-Johnston scoreboard in honour of their feat. Johnston took match figures of 3/55 in the Fifth Test as Australia completed the series with a win.

During the season, he took a then-career best first class figures of 7/114 against New South Wales while playing in the Sheffield Shield. He was to surpass this in the following season with 8/52 against Queensland, which remained his best first-class innings analysis.

Decline

Johnston could not maintain his form in the 1952–53 home series against South Africa. He took match figures of 3/83, 2/114 and 2/97 as the first three Tests were won, lost and won, respectively. In the Fourth Test at Adelaide, both Lindwall and Miller broke down in the middle of match.Perry, p. 320.] leaving Australia two bowlers short. In their absence, Johnston took 5/110 and 2/67 but Australia were unable to force a win. Lindwall and Miller were unable to play, and in their absence, the South Africans were able to score heavily. Johnston had a large workload, taking 6/152 and 1/114 as the tourists won to level the series 2–2. In the last two Tests, Johnston conceded more than 100 runs in three of the four innings with the increased burden in his colleagues' absence; the only previous occasion when he had conceded a century of runs in an innings was in the First Test against England in 1948 when Lindwall broke down mid-match. Johnston was again Australia's leading wicket-taker with 21 wickets,Fact|date=July 2008 but his average of 35.10 was substantially higher than in previous seasons, as Australia struggled to a 2–2 series result. It was the first time Australia had not won a Test series since the 1938 Ashes tour.

After injuring his knee in a festival match at the beginning of the tour at East Molesey, Johnston missed the first six first-class matches, before recovering to play in the First Test at Trent Bridge. He was economical but unpenetrative, conceding 36 runs in 36 overs without taking a wicket. He took match figures of 4/161 in the Second Test before a recurrence of the knee injury intervened again. A haul of 6/63 against Glamorgan [Benaud, p. 79.] saw his return for the Fifth Test at The Oval. A total of 74 overs in the match yielded 3/146, and Johnston was unable to prevent the victory that saw England reclaim the Ashes 1–0. He managed only seven Test wickets at 49.00, but in first-class matches took 75 wickets at 20.54.cite web|title=Johnston, William Arras| url=http://premier.cricketvictoria.com.au/page/johnston_william_arras.html |publisher=Victorian Premier Cricket |accessdate=2007-06-01] His injuries were considered a major factor in Australia's loss of the series.Perry, p. 326.]

The 1954–55 series against England was to be Johnston's last Test success. He took 19 wickets at 22.26 in the first four Tests before missing the last as England took the series 3–1. He took 3/106 as Australia won the First Test by an innings.

In the Second Test at Sydney, Johnston took 3/56 and 3/70 in a low-scoring match. He had another notable innings when he joined Neil Harvey with 78 runs needed for victory on a difficult batting surface against the hostile pace of Frank Tyson and Brian Statham. They put together a stubborn 39 run tenth-wicket partnership which gave Australia hope of an unlikely victory before Johnston was caught behind for 11. After taking 1/26 in the first innings, Johnston took 5/85 in the second innings of his last Test performance in front of his home crowd at the MCG. This left Australia 240 to win but there was to be no fairytale as England won by 128 runs. [Perry, pp. 356–357.] Johnston then took match figures of 4/80 in the Fourth Test at Adelaide, in what was to be the his last Test on Australian soil.

His career ended unhappily on Australia's first tour to the West Indies. He took match figures of 2/126 in the First Test in Kingston, Jamaica in a high-scoring win. [Perry, pp. 364–367.] These were to be his last Test wickets as he took a total of 0/60 in the Second Test in Trinidad. He was retained for the Third Test but injured himself while fielding and neither batted nor bowled. He was rested for the Fourth but returned for the Fifth. On the first day he suffered a knee injury as he changed direction while attempting to catch a Clyde Walcott pull shot. He was carried from the ground and his Test career ended without bowling or batting in either of his last two matches.

Johnston retired from first-class cricket after the tour, but played grade cricket for Richmond until the end of 1958–59, taking 452 wickets at 16.61 in his grade career.

Style

Standing 188 cm, Johnston had a smooth ten-pace approach to the wicket, with an idiosyncratic dip of his head before the instant of delivery. He had success on moist English pitches, with deliveries from over the wicket because of the increased chances of leg before wicket decisions and to induce edges from balls angling across the batsmen. His stock ball swung into the right-hander, but he mixed this with an away swinger. The late swing in flight which generated the batsman's uncertainty over the direction in which the ball would move was responsible for the majority of Johnston’s wickets in England. Although his pace was lower than that generated by Lindwall or Miller, he was noted for his accuracy and ability to revert to spin bowling on sticky wickets. He possessed strong hands, attributed to his milking of the family’s cattle herd. Johnston was an economical bowler, conceding only 2.07 runs per over. He was known for his elbow movement and flailing arms during his delivery action, with one commentator noting "one of these days an umpire will get a poke in the eye". Johnston also had a reputation of visibly enjoying himself on field, putting his hand on his hips and grinning, regardless of the result of his delivery. His feet position were peculiar in that his front foot was parallel to the crease and his back foot perpendicular, the opposite of the conventional posture. This inhibited his follow through and put more stress on his ankles and shins. As a result, his right ankle had to be bound tightly in order to prevent jarring from his awkward delivery. After the knee injury, he altered his action into a more conventional one so that his front foot pointed towards the batsman. This eased the pressure on his body, but his ability to move the ball diminished. Johnston was a keen student of the game, and although he did not see a state match until his debut, and watched only one Test before his debut, he supplemented his knowledge by reading cricket books. During his early first-class career, upon returning from matches, he would read articles by Bradman, Bert Oldfield and Arthur Mailey from a book given to him by his schoolteacher when he was a schoolboy. Bradman rated him as "Australia’s greatest left-hand bowler". As a result of his ability to bowl spin and pace, teammate Neil Harvey noted that the team effectively had 13 players:"we reckoned Bradman was worth two and Bill Johnston was worth two". Harvey felt that Johnston was the best team man, and Bill Brown noted Johnston's work ethic in bowling for long periods after Lindwall and Miller were given the best opportunities with the new ball.cite news|title=Invincibles pay tribute to Johnston| url=http://content-aus.cricinfo.com/ci/content/story/295751.html |date=2007-05-25| accessdate=2007-06-01| publisher=Cricinfo] Ian Johnson described him as "the finest team man and tourist" in cricket and valued his personality, while Miller described him as "the most popular man in cricket". He sometimes amused others by demonstrating his double jointedness, wrapping his feet around the back of his neck. He is reputed to have nearly drowned when he attempted this in the bath at Lord’s.

Johnston had a reputation as a poor batsman, averaging less than 13 in Tests and first-class matches without making a half century. He headed the averages in England in 1953, being not out 16 times out of 17 and averaging 102.00. He attributed this to "a lot of application, concentration and dedication", stating that "class always tells". When Hassett realised that Johnston was atop the batting averages, he told Johnston to tell the opposing captain of this fact and ask them to refrain from dismissing him. In the last match against T. N. Pearce’s XI at Scarborough, English Test paceman Alec Bedser bowled wide of the stumps and advised Johnston not to do anything that would lose him his wicket.cite news| title=Bill Johnston|url=http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/obituaries/article1842406.ece |publisher=The Times | date=2007-05-26 |accessdate=2007-06-01]

Life after cricket

Johnston had a varied career after cricket, holding a variety of jobs. These included acting as a sales representative for sports goods and shoe companies, a publican and an apartment building manager. In his later working career, he ran a post office on the Gold Coast of Queensland after he and his wife moved there.

He married Judy and they had two sons David and Peter. When he married Judy at St. Paul’s Anglican Cathedral in Melbourne, Catholic guests, including captain Lindsay Hassett were not permitted entry. David Johnston played 10 matches for South Australia as first-class level, and later became an administrator and was the Chief Executive of the Tasmanian Cricket Association at the time of his father's death.cite news
publisher = Sydney Morning Herald
url = http://www.smh.com.au/news/cricket/invincible-dies-aged-85/2007/05/25/1179601630079.html?s_cid=rss_smh | title = 'Invincible' Bill Johnston dies
date = 2007-05-25
accessdate = 2007-05-25
]

Outside cricket, Johnston also played baseball. He won the world's junior championship for throwing a distance of convert|125|yd|m, and he broke the national baseball long distance record with a convert|132|yd|m|sing=on throw in September 1945.

After the death of his wife in 2004, Johnston moved from the Gold Coast to a Sydney nursing home to be close to his son Peter. He died peacefully in a Sydney nursing home on May 25, 2007.cite news| title=Obituary:Bill Johnston| first= David |last=Frith |authorlink=David Frith| url=http://www.guardian.co.uk/australia/story/0,,2089626,00.html|date=2007-05-28 |accessdate=2007-05-31| publisher=The Guardian]

Test match performance

"Key: *–not out"

Notes

References

*cite book|first=Richie |last=Benaud |authorlink=Richie Benaud| year=1998| title=Anything But |publisher=Hodder & Stoughton |isbn=0-340-69641-6

External links

* [http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?view=DETAILS&grid=&xml=/news/2007/05/26/db2602.xml Obituary] , "The Daily Telegraph", 27 May 2007

Persondata
NAME = Johnston, William Arras
ALTERNATIVE NAMES = Johnston, Bill
SHORT DESCRIPTION = 20th century Australian cricketeer
DATE OF BIRTH = 26 February 1922
PLACE OF BIRTH = Beeac, Victoria, Australia
DATE OF DEATH = 24 May 2007
PLACE OF DEATH = Sydney, Australia


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  • Wisden Cricketer of the Year — Wisden Cricketer of the Year, littéralement « Joueur de cricket Wisden de l année », est une distinction décernée chaque année par le Wisden Cricketers Almanack, un almanach anglais spécialisé dans le cricket. Il récompense les joueurs… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Wisden cricketer of the year — Wisden Cricketers of the Year Le titre de Wisden Cricketer of the Year ( joueur de cricket Wisden de l année ) est remis chaque année par le Wisden Cricketers Almanack pour récompenser les cinq joueurs de cricket pour leur influence sur la saison …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Alan Davidson (cricketer) — Infobox Historic Cricketer nationality = Australian country = Australia country abbrev = AUS name = Alan Keith Davidson picture = DavoSignature.jpg batting style = Left hand bat bowling style = Left arm fast medium tests = 44 test runs = 1,328… …   Wikipedia

  • Keith Miller — For other people named Keith Miller, see Keith Miller (disambiguation). Keith Miller Personal information Full name Keith Ross Miller Born 28 November 1919(1919 …   Wikipedia

  • Donald Bradman with the Australian cricket team in England in 1948 — Sir Donald Bradman Personal information Full name Sir Donald George Bradman Nickname The Don, The Boy from Bowral, Braddles Born 27 August 1908 …   Wikipedia

  • Ray Lindwall — Infobox cricketer biography playername = Ray Lindwall female = country = Australia fullname = Raymond Russell Lindwall nickname = living = partialdates = dayofbirth = 3 monthofbirth = 10 yearofbirth = 1921 placeofbirth = Mascot, New South Wales… …   Wikipedia

  • Lindsay Hassett — Infobox cricketer biography playername = Lindsay Hassett female = country = Australia fullname = Arthur Lindsay Hassett nickname = living = partialdates = dayofbirth = 28 monthofbirth = 08 yearofbirth = 1913 placeofbirth = Geelong, Victoria… …   Wikipedia