Ian Johnson Obituary (12 October 1998)

12 October 1998

Ian Johnson Obituary

Rick Eyre in CricInfo365

The death was announced today of former Australian Test captain Ian Johnson. Aged 80, Johnson died in a Melbourne hospital on Friday following a long illness.

Ian William Johnson was born on 8 December 1917 (though he was recorded for many years as being born in 1918) in North Melbourne and made his first appearance for Victoria at first-class level in 1935-36 at the age of 18 years and 23 days. He made his first of his 45 Test appearances for Australia in New Zealand in 1946. He was a member of the 1948 "Invincibles" led by Sir Donald Bradman who won the Ashes decisively in England. Following the retirement of Lindsay Hassett in 1953, he took over the Australian captaincy, leading his country in 17 Tests, including tours to West Indies, England, India and Pakistan. He retired from first-class cricket following the tour of India and Pakistan in 1956/57.

An off-spinner who could provide some solid batting in the Australian tail, he took 109 wickets for Australia at 29.19 runs apiece, and scored precisely 1000 runs at 18.51. His best bowling figures in a Test were 7/44 at Bourda, Georgetown in 1955. In 189 first-class matches he scored 4905 runs at 22.92 and took 619 wickets at 23.30.

Following his retirement, Johnson was a television commentator on the 1956 Melbourne Olympics before becoming secretary of the Melbourne Cricket Club for 26 years, responsible for the administration of the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

His father, William Johnson, was at one time an Australian selector, while his father-in-law, Dr Roy Park, played one Test. Johnson is survived by wife Allie and sons Bill and Bob, as well as six grand-children.

Source :: CricInfo365