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Sir Donald Bradman Biography

Sir Donald Bradman (27 August 1908 – 25
February 2001)
“I was never coached; I was never told how
to hold a bat.”
Sir Donald Bradman is the greatest batsman ever
to grace the game. His test average remains far
above anyone else. In 52 tests he managed 29
hundreds and scored just below 6,000 runs at an
average of 99.94. If he had scored 6 runs on his
last test innings at Lords in 1948, he would have
finished with an average of 100. However, the
greatest cricketer of the era was out for a duck
– a paradoxical end to a stupendous career.
Donald Bradman was so dominant that the
English team resorted to ‘bodyline’ bowling on
the Australian tour of 1933. It was in the era of
the great depression when cricket provided a
relief from the gloom of the Great Depression.
The Australians were up in arms at the ‘un-
cricket’ like nature of the English bowling. The
tactics were criticised back in England and were
even raised in parliament. Don Bradman finished
the series with an average of ‘only’ 53. If it had
not been for the second world war, Don
Bradman’s career would have been even more
During the war, he initially volunteered for the
RAF but was later persuaded to join the army (a
safer option). However, in 1941, he suffered a
bout of fibrositis. Due to the pain, he was
invalided out of the army and suffered bouts of
fibrositis throughout his life.
After the war, he was able to return to the
national side. His final tour was the 1948 tour of
England, which captivated a nation. It was said,
Bradman was second only to Churchill in the
degree of fame. Despite his waning powers, he
still managed to score 11 centuries and 2,432
runs on tour. The Australians won the tour 4-0.
In the last test at Lords, Bradman went out to
bat with an average of 101. He was given a
standing ovation as he left the famous Lords
pavilion. But, he was bowled for 0. England lost
by an innings and he never batted again. He said
“I’m very sorry I made a duck, I’d have been
glad if I’d made those four extra runs to have
an average of 100. I didn’t know it at the time
and I don’t think the Englishmen knew it
either. I think if they had known it they may
have been generous enough to let me get
After retirement, Sir Donald Bradman remained a
great ambassador for the sport. He was knighted
for his services to cricket and remained open to
an adoring public, even though he remained
publicity shy throughout the period. In 2001, the
Australian Prime Minister, John Howard, said he
was the greatest living Australian.

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