WC 2003 - I felt chilled, it sent a shiver down my spine: Davison

Published: Wednesday, February 5, 2003, 23:53 [IST]
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Centurion: Canada's John Davison said he felt "chilled" to have scored the fastest-ever century in World Cup history here at SuperSport Park on Sunday.Davison's astonishing hundred against the West Indies came in just 67 balls and included six sixes and seven fours. It surpassed the 72-ball World Cup record set by India's Kapil Dev against Zimbabwe at Tunbridge Wells in 1983 and gave Carl Hooper's West Indians plenty to think about despite the seven-wicket win.Davison, 32, better known as a South Australia off spinner, was unaware he had made history until the giant scoreboard here proclaimed his achievement."I felt chilled. It sent a shiver down my spine," admitted Davison who cannot even make it into South Australia's One-day team. Asked what he was thinking, Davison jokingly told reporters."I was thinking the air here is pretty thin." His innings, which was ended on 111 by a brilliant Vasbert Drakes catch in the deep, was way in excess of his previous best at this level - 31 against Kenya in Cape Town in Canada's second match of the tournament on February 15.And it capped a remarkable journey from relative obscurity to a place in cricket's history books. "I was born in Canada. But my parents emigrated to Australia when I was five weeks old," explained Davison a professional cricketer who used to play for Australian state Victoria."I wrote a letter to the Canadian Cricket Association when I was 19 but they never replied. "Four years ago, someone must have been surfing the web, because they sent an e-mail to the Victorian Cricket Association asking me if I'd consider playing for Canada."Davison, once a team-mate of Shane Warne's at the St Kilda club in Melbourne, jumped at the chance."One of the great things about playing for Canada is the opportunities I get. I'd never normally bat first on such a good wicket. I'm not even in the South Australian One-day side although maybe that will change now."But he added he knew early in his innings that this could be his day. "I hit a few off the middle of the bat and I knew the wicket was good. I chanced my arm a bit and it came off."There was nothing in Davison's career record to suggest he was capable of such an innings. "I once got a hundred in second eleven cricket and my best first-class is 72. I normally bat at number nine."But Canada captain Joseph Harris was less surprised than most. "He's a very positive player. That's his usual approach." Davison's innings was the cornerstone of Canada's 202 - their best total in a One-day International - and came hot on the heels of Wednesday's world record low of 36 all out against Sri Lanka."He gave us a great start but we let him down in the middle order," said Harris. Hooper, no mean destroyer of attacks himself, praised Davison's innings. "A lot of credit goes to Davison. I've played against him in our One-day competition (Canada play in that event too) but he didn't do much there. "It just shows cricket is a funny game."Copyright AFP 2001

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