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A gardener till last year, Spencer Johnson embarks on IPL Journey with Gujarat Titans

A gardener till last year, Spencer Johnson embarks on IPL Journey with Gujarat Titans

Not too long ago, Spencer Johnson faced an uncertain future as he battled a recurring stress fracture in his foot.

In a remarkable turn of events, Australia’s Spencer Johnson, who was a landscape gardener just a year ago without a professional cricket contract, has now become an IPL millionaire. The Gujarat Titans secured his services for a hefty sum of Rs 10 crore at the recent IPL auction in Dubai, marking a significant shift in Johnson’s cricketing fortunes.

Not too long ago, Spencer Johnson faced an uncertain future as he battled a recurring stress fracture in his foot, which initially occurred during his professional debut for South Australia in 2017. This injury forced him out of the game for three years, leading to a loss of contract and a shift to working as a landscaper and greenkeeper.

However, determination and resilience paid off for the 28-year-old left-arm pacer. After undergoing surgery and undergoing an extensive rehabilitation process, Johnson made a successful comeback. He regained his South Australia contract in mid-2022 and made his Big Bash League debut for Brisbane Heat in January 2023.

Spencer Johnson prowess as a fast bowler, delivering thunderbolts at speeds exceeding 150 kmph, caught the attention of cricket enthusiasts, particularly during the last season’s Big Bash League. This led to his inclusion in the IPL auction, where he secured a lucrative deal with the Gujarat Titans (GT).

Spencer Johnson in disbelief

Reflecting on this unexpected journey, Spencer Johnson expressed his disbelief at being in such a situation just 18 months after facing uncertainties in his cricketing career. He shared that not having a state deal or a Big Bash contract only a year and a half ago made the current scenario even more surreal.

The left-arm pacer highlighted the emotional aspect of the IPL contract, mentioning that it was heartwarming to witness his mother’s joy on FaceTime. Johnson emphasized that the achievement wasn’t just his but a moment for his entire family, acknowledging their unwavering support throughout his cricketing journey.

Insidesport

“I think the longer it went, I guess you start to lose a little bit of hope. So the longer it was going, I think the less chance I had,” Spencer told reporters in Melbourne.

“But at the end of the day, I was in a position where I was in the auction, and this time last year I wasn’t. So whatever happened was going to happen, and anything would have been a good result.”

Despite the IPL’s life-changing contract, Johnson revealed that his strengths lie in Test cricket. Expressing a desire to play more red-ball cricket, he acknowledged that his body had faced challenges in recent years but was now gearing up for longer-format cricket, which he considers his better format.

Looking ahead, Spencer Johnson outlined his post-Big Bash plans, indicating a return to South Australia for the last four Shield games. He hopes that strong performances in the longer format could open up further opportunities in his cricketing career. The landscape gardener turned IPL sensation is poised for a new chapter, showcasing the unpredictable and inspirational nature of sports.

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