Left-arm sensation Spencer Johnson’s amazing career trajectory could elevate him to Indian Premier League status by the time he’s bowling for the Brisbane Heat on Thursday night against the Melbourne Renegades.
Johnson, who this time last year was yet to play a BBL match, was set to be among a host of Australians up grabs in Tuesday night’s IPL auction.
His $89,000 price tag would seemingly be considered by many as a bargain too good to refuse, with left-arm pacemen a rare commodity.
”To have my name in the auction this year, and hopefully read out, it’s pretty exciting,” 28-year-old Johnson said earlier on Tuesday.
“It’d be a nice feather in your cap to play in the IPL but whatever happens, happens.”
Troubled by injuries earlier in his career, Johnson has shot to prominence since debuting for the Heat last January.
Since then his feats have included representing Australia in T20 and one-day international cricket, playing for Australia “A” against New Zealand, and earning a contract in the English competition The Hundred with the Oval Invincibles, for whom he took 3-1 off 20 balls on debut.
“It was my first big overseas tournament where you’re not the local, you’re the overseas player, so I had that expectation that I had to perform,” Johnson said.
“That (3-1) performance that night was something I’ll remember for the rest of my life. It was a pretty special night.”
It was also “special” representing Australia.
“It’s where I’ve always wanted to be To be living it now, to have represented Australia, it’s a childhood dream, so hopefully I can keep performing and keep that ball rolling,” he said.
“It was an amazing experience the first tome I played (in India) for Australia. It was different conditions.
“Playing with world-class players (in the IPL), it would be great for my career.”
However, Johnson’s immediate task is helping the Heat maintain their unbeaten start to the BBL season by beating the Renegades at Marvel Stadium on Thursday night.
The Heat have five points from three matches, having been forced to share points with the Adelaide Strikers for a game that was washed out without a ball being bowled on December 9.
“I’ve had a bit on an interrupted run coming in here with a little hamstring niggle but I’m feeling good and looking forward to taking on the Renegades,” said Johnson, who has only bowled two overs in each of the Heat’s two wins.
“Personally, it’s going to be a little bit of a different role this year, (but) whatever my role is, I’m happy to take it on. I’m happy to be playing.
“If we can keep winning, it doesn’t mater if I bowl one over – I’m happy.”