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Australian "Invincible" Bill Johnston dies aged 85

Bill Johnston, a member of Don Bradman's 1948 "Invincibles" cricket team, has died at the age of 85, Cricket Australia said on Friday.

cricket Updated: May 25, 2007 12:13 IST

Bill Johnston, a member of Don Bradman's 1948 "Invincibles", has died at the age of 85, Cricket Australia announced on Friday.

Johnston was a versatile left-arm bowler who played 40 tests for Australia between 1947 and 1955, capturing 160 wickets at an average of 23.91.

Originally a slow bowler who turned to pace, he was best known as one of the spearheads of Bradman's 1948 team that went through their post-War tour of Britain undefeated.

"Those of us fortunate enough to have known Bill will remember him as a good companion, well-humoured, passionate about cricket and always willing to share his knowledge," the Chairman of Cricket Australia, Creagh O'Connor, said in a statement.

"However, to cricket fans he will always be remembered, rightly, as a member of Sir Donald Bradman's legendary Invincibles, and as a left-armer who took a lot of wickets quickly and economically when bowling in the company of fellow greats such as (Ray) Lindwall and (Keith) Miller.

"His cheery tail-end batting also had its moments, including a quirky statistic that gave him a batting average of 102 during a tour of England in 1953."

Johnston also bagged 554 first class wickets for Victoria state and was named one of Wisden's Cricketers of the Year in 1949.

Bradman's "Invincibles" are regarded as one of the finest cricket teams ever to play the game while Bradman is recognised as the greatest batsman of all time.

Bradman died in 2001 aged 92 and there are now just five surviving members of the squad - Arthur Morris, Neil Harvey, Sam Loxton, Bill Brown and Ron Hamence.

First Published: May 25, 2007 11:40 IST