John Davison, the Canada allrounder who in 2003 broke the record for the fastest World Cup century, has announced his retirement. Davison, 40, was born in Canada but has lived nearly all his life in Australia, and he will finish his career with Wednesday's match against the Australians, the first time he has had the chance to play against his home country.
"It's pretty fitting that it is against Australia," Davison said on the eve of the match in Bangalore. "I've lived all my life there. I was never quite good enough to get a game for them. It will be a great experience to play against them. There's some guys in the team who I've had a fair bit to do with, playing against or coaching. So it would be nice to have a good showing against them."
Davison spent the first half of his career as an offspinner for Victoria and South Australia, but never quite lived up to his potential and finished his career with 83 wickets for the states at an average of 55.56. However, when he discovered that he was eligible to play for Canada, having been born in British Columbia, it put a new spin on his career.
He was thrust into the national side for the 2003 World Cup and found a new lease of life as an aggressive opening batsman. His finest moment was unquestionably his 67-ball century against West Indies at Centurion during that tournament, which was at the time the quickest World Cup hundred but has since been surpassed by both Matthew Hayden and Kevin O'Brien.
"I was hitting them a lot better (in 2003) than I am now," Davison said. "It was a fantastic wicket, the ball wasn't swinging and I was just able to hit through the line of the ball. It was just one of those days where everything I tried came off. Hopefully there's one more innings like that left in me."
Davison has played 31 one-day internationals for Canada, including 19 as captain, and he has scored 785 runs at 27.06 and collected 35 wickets at 29.65. Ashish Bagai, the current national captain, said Davison had been a fantastic ambassador for cricket in Canada.
"He's given Canada a name in the world of cricket," Bagai said. "I've learned a fair bit from him and the players appreciate having him in the dressing room, both on and off the field. He's brought professionalism and a good work ethic and self-belief in this side. That's irreplaceable."
In his final match, Davison will come up against several men he has either played with over the years or mentored in his role as a coach at Australia's Centre of Excellence in Brisbane. Nobody goes back further with Davison than the Australia captain Ricky Ponting, who first came across Davison when they were both part of the 1991 intake at Australia's cricket academy.
"We had a few overseas tours together as part of that academy and we played with and against each other for quite a period of time through different state competitions back home," Ponting said. "He's got a lot to do with the development of young Australian players now, being one of the coaches at the Centre of Excellence in Australia.
"He's obviously got some great memories now out of World Cup cricket, playing with Canada, that he probably never thought he would have. At one stage to have the fastest World Cup hundred ever is a great achievement for him. He'll be able to look back at the end of his career and look at some pretty good memories."