DONALD BRADMAN – DON OF THE CRICKET


brad

Sir Donald George Bradman, often referred to as The Don, was an Australian cricketer, widely acknowledged as the greatest batsman of all time. Bradman’s career Test batting average of 99.94 has been claimed to be statistically the greatest achievement in any major sport. He was born on 27th August 1908 in Cootamundra of New South Wales of Australia. The story that the young Bradman practised alone with a cricket stump and a golf ball is part of Australian folklore. Bradman’s meteoric rise from bush cricket to the Australian Test team took just over two years. Before his 22nd birthday, he had set many records for high scoring, some of which still stand, and became Australia’s sporting idol at the height of the Great Depression. During a 20-year playing career, Bradman consistently scored at a level that made him, in the words of former Australia captain Bill Woodfull, “worth three batsmen to Australia”. A controversial set of tactics, known as Bodyline, was specifically devised by the England team to curb his scoring. As a captain and administrator Bradman was committed to attacking, entertaining cricket; he drew spectators in record numbers. He hated the constant adulation, however, and it affected how he dealt with others. The focus of attention on his individual performances strained relationships with some team-mates, administrators and journalists, who thought him aloof and wary. Bradman retained a pre-eminent position in the game by acting as an administrator, selector and writer for three decades following his retirement. Even after he became reclusive in his declining years his opinion was highly sought, and his status as a national icon was still recognised—more than 50 years after his retirement as a Test player, in 2001, the Australian Prime Minister John Howard called him the “greatest living Australian”. He was died on 25th February 2001 at an age of 92 in Adelaide of Australia. Bradman’s image has appeared on postage stamps and coins, and he was the first living Australian to have a museum dedicated to his life. On the centenary of his birth, 27 August 2008, the Royal Australian Mint issued a $5 commemorative gold coin with his image.

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