Former Indian pacer David Johnson dies after falling from apartment

David Johnson
David Johnson was a tearaway. File photo: AFP/Anna Zieminski

Bengaluru: Former Indian pacer David Johnson has died after falling from the balcony of his fourth-floor apartment here and an investigation is being conducted to figure out if it is a case of suicide, a police official said on Thursday.

He was 52 and is survived by his wife and two children. Johnson, who was running a cricket academy near his home, had not been keeping well in recent times.

"We were informed that he had fallen from the fourth floor of his apartment building. He was taken to a hospital but the doctors declared him brought dead," a Karnataka State Cricket Association official said.

"It is believed that Johnson fell from his Apartment in Kanaka Sri Layout in Kothanur giving rise to the suspicion of suicide," a police official said.

Johnson made his Test debut in October, 1996, against Australia under the captaincy of Sachin Tendulkar. He went on to play one more Test against South Africa in the same year. He had a tally of three wickets from two Tests. 

Johnson was a tearaway and clocked 157.8 kmph during the Test against Australia in New Delhi. He claimed 125 wickets from 39 first-class games and  also smashed a hundred at the first-class level.

In his prime, Johnson was the member of a formidable Karnataka bowling unit that also featured Anil Kumble, Javagal Srinath, Venkatesh Prasad and Dodda Ganesh.

"It is a shocking news as we had played together from our tennis cricket days for a club called Jai Karnataka," Ganesh, also a former India pacer and Johnson's long-time friend, said.

Ganesh fondly recalled their time together on the field.

"Later we played together for state and the country. That Karnataka bowling attack was the Indian bowling attack for a long time.

"In fact, six members from the state, including Rahul Dravid, was in India squad at the same time. I doubt any other state has managed that feat," said Ganesh.

Legendary leg-spinner Anil Kumble condoled his one-time teammate's death on X.

Jay Shah, the BCCI secretary, too extended his condolences to the bereaved family.  "Deepest condolences to family and friends of our former Indian fast bowler David Johnson. His contributions to the game will always be remembered," Shah wrote on X.

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