Widely known as “THE GREATEST CRICKETER OF THE 20th CENTURY,” Sir Donald George Bradman is perhaps the most incomparable cricketer ever. He has not only been a constant idol for the Australian young rising stars but for world cricket as a whole. His unparalleled achievements honoured him with the title of “THE DON”.
Australian international right-handed batsman was born on 27 August 1908 in Cootamundra, New South Wales, Australia, with three sisters and a brother. The story behind Bradman practising with a cricket stump and golf ball hitting a water tank at the back of his yard is still popular among Australian folklore. Bradman’s age was 21 when he toured England with an opportunity to play at Cambridge nonetheless, Bradman’s century was witnessed at the age of 12 at a local High School with 115 runs.
Sir Donald Bradman’s debut into the first class was at 19, for New South Wales. It was an announcement into his cricketing world with an innings of 118. Unfortunately, he did not get a place in the Australian team and decided to move to Sydney and scored an overpowering 87 and 132 against England in Brisbane. This made his chances for the Test Selection.
The 1930 Ashes series was one of Bradman’s news replenishing marks in his career, where he established himself as a cricketing deity. It was because of England leading the win and partnering with Jackson that Bradman had to break the tradition to give Australian Cricket a push. In the five-Test Series, Bradman recorded 974 runs at an average of 98.66, with 10 centuries creating a dynamic demeanour of quiet personality contrasting his sharp batting approach. Leading captaincy amidst the Second World War, his team earned the title “The Invincibles” as per undefeated run throughout the tour.
Bradman did not have a very people-appealing personality and thus refrained from personal relationships, maintaining consistency in his career. However, in April 1932, he got married in a much commotion, with uninvited guests meeting the curiosity of their reluctant hero. Bradman’s wife, Jessie Menzies, gave birth to children with great misfortune. His first two sons had a death, and Bradman’s daughter suffered from cerebral palsy congenitally.
Below are a few of the smashing batsmanship records of the cricketer-
Highest Batting average: 99.94
Highest ratio of centuries per innings: 36.25%
Highest runs in one series: 974
The first man to score two triple centuries in the history of Test Matches.
Sir Donald was awarded “The Knight Bachelor” in 1949 and the “Companion of the Order of Australia” on 16 June 1979. He was announced the “Greatest Cricketer of the 20th Century” by 100 judges, including top sportspersons of that time.
After retiring from international Cricket in 1948, Bradman chose to work as an administrator. He also worked as a journalist. 1997 Prime Minister Howard acknowledged him as the “greatest living Australian”. He had his last breath at the age of 92, on 25 February 2001.
During a career of 20 years, Bradman’s stats extend from astonishing records to a profound impact not only on statistical achievements but also on the unbeatable stature of a legend. In 2008, on his birth anniversary, the Royal Australian Mint issued gold coins with Bradman’s image. His legacy will continue to inspire young Cricketers, and wish to remember him as the greatest cricketer of all centuries to come.
Did Sir Donald have a second talent?
He was a great singer and composed songs like “Every Day Is A Rainbow Day For Me” along with Jack Lumsdaine.
What was Sir Donald Bradman's highest run-scorer in a day?
He has an incredible record of 309 runs in the Ashes series of 1930 as the highest run-scorer in a day.
Mention a lesser-known fact about Sir Donald Bradman.
Bradman’s grandfather, Charles Andrew Bradman, was an English by origin who later immigrated to Australia.