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Sir Donald George Bradman, AC (27 August 1908 – 25 February 2001), nicknamed "The Don", was an Australian international
cricket Cricket is a Bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players each on a cricket field, field at the centre of which is a cricket pitch, pitch with a wicket at each end, each comprising two Bail (cricket), bai ...

cricket
er, widely acknowledged as the greatest
batsman In cricket, batting is the act or skill of hitting the cricket ball, ball with a cricket bat, bat to score runs (cricket), runs and prevent the dismissal (cricket), loss of one's wicket. Any player who is currently batting is denoted as a batsm ...
of all time. Bradman's career
Test Test(s), testing, or TEST may refer to: * Test (assessment), an educational assessment intended to measure the respondents' knowledge or other abilities Arts and entertainment * Test (2013 film), ''Test'' (2013 film), an American film * Test ( ...
batting average Batting average is a statistic in cricket, baseball, and softball that measures the performance of batsmen in cricket and batters in baseball and softball. The development of the baseball statistic was influenced by the cricket statistic. Cricket ...
of 99.94 has been cited as the greatest achievement by any sportsman in any major sport. The story that the young Bradman practised alone with a cricket stump and a golf ball is part of
Australian folklore Australian folklore refers to the folklore Folklore is the expressive body of culture shared by a particular group of people; it encompasses the traditions common to that culture, subculture or group. These include oral traditions such as Nar ...
. Bradman's meteoric rise from bush cricket to the
Australian Australians, colloquially referred to as "Aussies", are the citizens Citizenship is a relationship between an individual and a state to which the individual owes allegiance and in turn is entitled to its protection. Each state determines ...
Test team took just over two years. Before his 22nd birthday, he had set many records for top scoring, some of which still stand, and became Australia's sporting idol at the height of the
Great Depression The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression An economic depression is a sustained, long-term downturn in economic activity in one or more economies. It is a more severe economic downturn than a economic recession, recess ...
. During a 20-year playing career, Bradman consistently scored at a level that made him, in the words of former Australia captain
Bill Woodfull William Maldon Woodfull (22 August 1897 – 11 August 1965) was an Australian cricketer of the 1920s and 1930s. He captained both Victorian Bushrangers, Victoria and Australian cricket team, Australia, and was best known for his dignified and m ...

Bill Woodfull
, "worth three batsmen to Australia". A controversial set of tactics, known as
Bodyline Bodyline, also known as fast leg theory bowling, was a cricket Cricket is a bat-and-ball gameBat-and-ball may refer to: *Bat-and-ball games Bat-and-ball games (or safe haven games) are field games played by two opposing teams, in whic ...

Bodyline
, was specially devised by the
England England is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to its west and Scotland to its north. The Irish Sea lies northwest of England and the Celtic Sea to the southwest. E ...
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 teammates, administrators and journalists, who thought him aloof and wary. Following an enforced hiatus due to the Second World War, he made a dramatic comeback, captaining an Australian team known as " The Invincibles" on a record-breaking unbeaten tour of England. A complex, highly driven man, not given to close personal relationships, 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. Almost 50 years after his retirement as a Test player, in 1997, Prime Minister
John Howard John Winston Howard (born 26 July 1939) is an Australian former politician who served as the 25th prime minister of Australia The prime minister of Australia is the head of government The head of government is either the highest or s ...

John Howard
of Australia called him the "greatest living Australian". Bradman's image has appeared on postage stamps and coins, and a museum dedicated to his life was opened while he was still living. On the centenary of his birth, 27 August 2008, the
Royal Australian Mint The Royal Australian Mint is the sole producer of all of Australia's circulating coins. The Mint is situated in the Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a Sovereign state, sovereign country comprising the m ...

Royal Australian Mint
issued a $5 commemorative gold coin with Bradman's image. In 2009, he was inducted posthumously into the
ICC Cricket Hall of Fame The ICC Cricket Hall of Fame recognises "the achievements of the legends of the game from cricket's long and illustrious history". It was launched by the International Cricket Council (ICC) in Dubai on 2 January 2009, in association with the Fede ...
.


Early years

Donald George Bradman was the youngest son of George and Emily (née Whatman) Bradman, and was born on 27 August 1908 at
Cootamundra Cootamundra is a town in the South West Slopes The South West Slopes is a region predominantly in New South Wales New South Wales (abbreviated as NSW) is a States and territories of Australia, state on the Eastern states of Australia, east ...
,
New South Wales New South Wales (abbreviated as NSW) is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspape ...
(NSW). He had a brother, Victor, and three sisters—Islet, Lilian and Elizabeth May. Bradman was of
English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, which has eventually become the World language, leading lan ...
heritage on both sides of his family. His grandfather Charles Andrew Bradman left
Withersfield Withersfield is a village and civil parish in the West Suffolk (district), West Suffolk district of Suffolk in eastern England. In 2011 its population was 450. The village has a public house and a village hall. Withersfield centres on the paris ...
, Suffolk, for Australia. When Bradman played at
Cambridge Cambridge ( ) is a university city and the county town In the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' ...

Cambridge
in
1930 Events January * January 6 Events Pre-1600 *1066 1066 (Roman numerals, MLXVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Julian calendar. Events By place England * January 5 – Edward the Confessor dies after ...
as a 21 year old on his first tour of England, he took the opportunity to trace his forebears in the region. Also, one of his great-grandfathers was one of the first Italians to migrate to Australia in 1826. Bradman's parents lived in the hamlet of Yeo Yeo, near Stockinbingal. His mother, Emily, gave birth to him at the Cootamundra home of Granny Scholz, a midwife. That house is now the Bradman Birthplace Museum. Emily had hailed from
Mittagong Mittagong is a town located in the Southern Highlands, New South Wales, Southern Highlands of New South Wales, Australia, in Wingecarribee Shire. The town acts as the gateway to the Southern Highlands when coming from Sydney. Mittagong is situat ...
in the NSW Southern Highlands, and in 1911, when Don Bradman was about two-and-a-half years old, his parents decided to relocate to
Bowral Bowral () is the largest town in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales New South Wales (abbreviated as NSW) is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published b ...
, close to Mittagong, to be closer to Emily's family and friends, as life at Yeo Yeo was proving difficult. Bradman practised batting incessantly during his youth. He invented his own solo cricket game, using a cricket stump for a
bat Bats are mammal Mammals (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meanin ...

bat
, and a
golf ball A golf ball is a special ball A ball is a round object (usually spherical of a sphere A sphere (from Greek language, Greek —, "globe, ball") is a geometrical object in three-dimensional space Three-dimensional space (also: 3- ...

golf ball
. A water tank, mounted on a curved brick stand, stood on a paved area behind the family home. When hit into the curved brick facing of the stand, the ball rebounded at high speed and varying angles—and Bradman would attempt to hit it again. This form of practice developed his timing and reactions to a high degree. In more formal cricket, he hit his first
century A century is a period of 100 years. Centuries are numbered names of numbers in English#Ordinal numbers, ordinally in English and many other languages. The word ''century'' comes from the Latin ''centum'', meaning ''one hundred''. ''Century'' is s ...
at the age of 12, with an undefeated 115 playing for Bowral Public School against Mittagong High School. Bradman Museum. Retrieved on 21 August 2007.


Bush cricketer

During the 1920–21 season, Bradman acted as
scorer Scoring in cricket Cricket is a Bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players each on a cricket field, field at the centre of which is a cricket pitch, pitch with a wicket at each end, each comprising ...
for the local Bowral team, captained by his uncle George Whatman. In October 1920, he filled in when the team was one man short, scoring 37 * and 29* on debut. During the season, Bradman's father took him to the
Sydney Cricket Ground The Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) is a sports stadium in Sydney, Australia. It is used for Test cricket, Test, One Day International and Twenty20 cricket, as well as Australian rules football, rugby league, rugby union, and association football. ...
(SCG) to watch the fifth
Ashes Ashes may refer to: *ash Ash or ashes are the solid remnants of fire BBQ. Fire is the rapid oxidation of a material in the exothermic chemical process of combustion, releasing heat, light, and various reaction Product (chemistry), product ...

Ashes
Test match. On that day, Bradman formed an ambition. "I shall never be satisfied", he told his father, "until I play on this ground". Bradman left school in 1922 and went to work for a local real estate agent who encouraged his sporting pursuits by giving him time off when necessary. He gave up cricket in favour of tennis for two years, but resumed playing cricket in 1925–26. Bradman became a regular selection for the Bowral team; several outstanding performances earned him the attention of the Sydney daily press. Competing on , Bowral played other rural towns in the Berrima District competition. Against Wingello, a team that included the future Test bowler Bill O'Reilly, Bradman made 234.Page (1983), pp. 21–23. In the competition final against
Moss Vale Moss Vale is a town in the Southern Highlands, New South Wales, Southern Highlands of New South Wales, Australia, in the Wingecarribee Shire. At the , it has a population of 8,579 and is sited on the Illawarra Highway, which connects to Wollongo ...
, which extended over five consecutive Saturdays, Bradman scored 320 not out. During the following Australian winter (1926), an ageing Australian team lost The Ashes in England, and a number of Test players retired. The
New South Wales Cricket Association Cricket NSW (formerly known as the ''New South Wales Cricket Association'') is an Australian sporting association that administers cricket in New South Wales. It is based at the Sydney Olympic Park. The Speed Blitz Blues, New South Wales Blues, the ...
began a hunt for new talent. Mindful of Bradman's big scores for Bowral, the association wrote to him, requesting his attendance at a practice session in Sydney. He was subsequently chosen for the "Country Week" tournaments at both cricket and tennis, to be played during separate weeks. His boss presented him with an ultimatum: he could have only one week away from work, and therefore had to choose between the two sports. He chose cricket. Bradman's performances during Country Week resulted in an invitation to play
grade cricket Grade cricket, also known as Premier Cricket is the name of the senior inter-club or district cricket competitions in each of the Australian states and territories. The term may refer to: *Victorian Premier Cricket *NSW Premier Cricket *Brisbane G ...
in Sydney for
St George Saint George (Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approxi ...
in the 1926–27 season. He scored 110 on his debut, making his first century on a . On 1 January 1927, he turned out for the NSW second team. For the remainder of the season, Bradman travelled the from Bowral to Sydney every Saturday to play for St George.


First-class debut

The next season continued the rapid rise of the "Boy from Bowral". Selected to replace the unfit
Archie Jackson Archibald Jackson (5 September 1909 – 16 February 1933), occasionally known as Archibald Alexander Jackson, was an Australian international cricket Cricket is a Bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven p ...

Archie Jackson
in the NSW team, Bradman made his
first-class First class (or 1st class, Firstclass) generally implies a high level of service, importance or quality. Specific uses of the term include: Books and Comics * ''First Class'', List of Dandy comic strips, a comic strip in ''The Dandy'' (1983-1998 ...
debut at the
Adelaide Oval Adelaide Oval is a sports ground in Adelaide Adelaide ( ) is the capital city A capital or capital city is the municipality holding primary status in a Department (country subdivision), department, country, Constituent state, state, ...
, aged 19. He secured the achievement of a hundred on debut, with an innings of 118 featuring what soon became his trademarks—fast footwork, calm confidence and rapid scoring. In the final match of the season, he made his first century at the SCG, against the
Sheffield Shield The Sheffield Shield (currently known for sponsorship reasons as the Marsh Sheffield Shield) is the domestic first-class cricket competition of Australia. The tournament is contested between teams from the six states of Australia. Sheffield Shi ...
champions
Victoria Victoria most commonly refers to: * Victoria (Australia), a state of the Commonwealth of Australia * Victoria, British Columbia, provincial capital of British Columbia, Canada * Victoria (mythology), Roman goddess of Victory * Victoria, Seychelles ...
. Despite his potential, Bradman was not chosen for the Australian second team to tour New Zealand. Bradman decided that his chances for Test selection would be improved by moving to Sydney for the 1928–29 season, when
England England is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to its west and Scotland to its north. The Irish Sea lies northwest of England and the Celtic Sea to the southwest. E ...
were to tour in defence of the Ashes. Initially, he continued working in real estate, but later took a promotions job with the sporting goods retailer Mick Simmons Ltd. In the first match of the Sheffield Shield season, he scored a century in each innings against
Queensland Queensland ( ) is a state situated in northeastern Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a Sovereign state, sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australia (continent), Australian continent, the ...
. He followed this with scores of 87 and 132 not out against the England touring team, and was rewarded with selection for the first Test, to be played at
Brisbane Brisbane ( ) is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals (or more formally ''majuscule'') and smaller low ...
.


Test career

Playing in only his tenth first-class match, Bradman, nicknamed "Braddles" by his teammates, found his initial Test a harsh learning experience. Caught on a
sticky wicket A sticky wicket (or sticky dog, or glue pot) is a metaphor A metaphor is a figure of speech A figure of speech or rhetorical figure is a word or phrase that entails an intentional deviation from ordinary language use in order to produ ...

sticky wicket
, Australia were all out for 66 in the second innings and lost by 675 runs (still a Test record). Following scores of 18 and 1, the selectors dropped Bradman to for the Second Test. An injury to
Bill Ponsford William Harold Ponsford Order of the British Empire, MBE (19 October 1900 – 6 April 1991) was an Australian cricketer. Usually playing as an Batting order (cricket), opening batsman, he formed a successful and long-lived partnership (cri ...

Bill Ponsford
early in the match required Bradman to field as substitute while England amassed 636, following their 863 runs in the First Test. RS "Dick" Whitington wrote, "... he had scored only nineteen himself and these experiences appear to have provided him with food for thought". Recalled for the Third Test at the
Melbourne Cricket Ground The Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), also known locally as "The 'G", is an Australian sports stadium located in Yarra Park Yarra Park (35.469 hectares) is part of the Melbourne Sports and Entertainment Precinct, the premier sporting precin ...

Melbourne Cricket Ground
, Bradman scored 79 and 112 to become the youngest player to make a Test century, although the match was still lost. Another loss followed in the Fourth Test. Bradman reached 58 in the second innings and appeared set to guide the team to victory when he was
run out Run out is a method of dismissal in cricket Cricket is a bat-and-ball gameBat-and-ball may refer to: *Bat-and-ball games Bat-and-ball games (or safe haven games) are field games played by two opposing teams, in which the action start ...
. It was to be the only run out of his Test career. The losing margin was just 12 runs. The improving Australians did manage to win the Fifth and final Test. Bradman top-scored with 123 in the first innings, and was at the wicket in the second innings when his captain Jack Ryder hit the winning runs. Bradman completed the season with 1,690 first-class runs,
averaging In colloquial Colloquialism or colloquial language is the style (sociolinguistics), linguistic style used for casual communication. It is the most common functional style of speech, the idiom normally employed in conversation and other informal co ...
 93.88, and his first multiple century in a Sheffield Shield match, 340 not out against Victoria, set a new ground record for the SCG. Bradman averaged 113.28 in 1929–30. In a trial match to select the team that would tour England, he was last man out in the first innings for 124. As his team followed on, the skipper
Bill Woodfull William Maldon Woodfull (22 August 1897 – 11 August 1965) was an Australian cricketer of the 1920s and 1930s. He captained both Victorian Bushrangers, Victoria and Australian cricket team, Australia, and was best known for his dignified and m ...

Bill Woodfull
asked Bradman to keep the
pads Pads (also called leg guards) are protective equipment used by batters in the sport of cricket, catchers in the sports of baseball and fastpitch softball, and by goaltenders in ice hockey, bandy and box lacrosse. They serve to protect the legs fro ...
on and open the second innings. By the end of play, he was 205 not out, on his way to 225. Against Queensland at the SCG, Bradman set a then world record for first-class cricket by scoring 452 not out; he made his runs in only 415 minutes. Not long after the feat, he recalled: Although he was an obvious selection to tour England, Bradman's unorthodox style raised doubts that he could succeed on the slower English pitches.
Percy Fender Percy George Herbert Fender (22 August 1892 – 15 June 1985) was an English cricket Cricket is a Bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players on a cricket field, field at the centre of which is a ...

Percy Fender
wrote: The encomiums were not confined to his batting gifts; nor did the criticism extend to his character. "Australia has unearthed a champion", said former Australian Test great
Clem Hill Clement "Clem" Hill (18 March 18775 September 1945) was an Australian cricketer who played 49 Test cricket, Test matches as a specialist batsman between 1896 and 1912. He Captain (cricket), captained the Australia national cricket team, Austra ...

Clem Hill
, "self-taught, with natural ability. But most important of all, with his heart in the right place." Selector Dick Jones weighed in with the observation that it was "good to watch him talking to an old player, listening attentively to everything that is said and then replying with a modest 'thank you'."


1930 tour of England

England were favourites to win the 1930 Ashes series, and if the Australians were to exceed expectations, their young batsmen, Bradman and Jackson, needed to prosper. With his elegant batting technique, Jackson appeared the brighter prospect of the pair. However, Bradman began the tour with 236 at
Worcester Worcester may refer to: Places United Kingdom * Worcester, England, a city in Worcestershire ** Worcester (UK Parliament constituency) * Worcester Park, London, England * Worcestershire, a county in England United States * Worcester, Massachus ...
and went on to score 1,000 first-class runs by the end of May, the fifth player (and first Australian) to achieve this rare feat. In his first Test appearance in England, Bradman hit 131 in the second innings but England won the match. His batting reached a new level in the Second Test at
Lord's Lord's Cricket Ground, commonly known as Lord's, is a cricket Cricket is a Bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players each on a cricket field, field at the centre of which is a cricket pitch, pitch ...
where he scored 254 as Australia won and levelled the series. Later in life, Bradman rated this the best innings of his career as, "practically without exception every ball went where it was intended to go". ''Wisden'' noted his fast footwork and how he hit the ball "all round the wicket with power and accuracy", as well as faultless concentration in keeping the ball on the ground. In terms of runs scored, this performance was soon surpassed. In the Third Test, at
Headingley Headingley is a suburb A suburb (or suburban area or suburbia) is a commercial Commercial may refer to: * a dose of advertising conveyed through media (such as - for example - radio or television) ** Radio advertisement ** Televis ...
, Bradman scored a century before lunch on 11 July, the first day of the Test match to equal the performances of
Victor Trumper Victor Thomas Trumper (2 November 1877 – 28 June 1915) was an Australian cricketer known as the most stylish and versatile batsman of the Golden Age of cricket, capable of playing match-winning innings on wet wickets his contemporaries found u ...

Victor Trumper
and
Charlie Macartney Charles George Macartney (27 June 1886 – 9 September 1958) was an Australian cricketer who played in 35 Test cricket, Test matches between 1907 and 1926. He was known as "The Governor-General" in reference to his authoritative batting style a ...

Charlie Macartney
. In the afternoon, Bradman added another century between lunch and tea, before finishing the day on 309 not out. He remains the only Test player to pass 300 in one day's play. His eventual score of 334 was a world-record, exceeding the previous mark of 325 by
Andy Sandham Andrew Sandham (6 July 1890 – 20 April 1982) was an English cricketer, a right-handed batsman (cricket), batsman who played 14 Test cricket, Test matches between 1921 and 1930. Sandham made the first triple century in Test cricket, 325 against ...
. Bradman dominated the Australian innings; the second-highest tally was 77 by
Alan Kippax Alan Falconer Kippax (25 May 1897 – 5 September 1972) was a cricketer for New South Wales cricket team, New South Wales (NSW) and Australian cricket team, Australia. Regarded as one of the great stylists of Australian cricket during the era ...
. Businessman Arthur Whitelaw later presented Bradman with a cheque for £1,000 in appreciation of his achievement. The match ended in anti-climax as poor weather prevented a result, as it also did in the Fourth Test. In the deciding Test at
The Oval The Oval, known for Naming rights#Stadium naming, sponsorship reasons as the Kia Oval, is an international cricket ground in Kennington, in the London Borough of Lambeth, in south London. The Oval has been the home ground of Surrey County Cri ...

The Oval
, England made 405. During an innings stretching over three days due to intermittent rain, Bradman made yet another multiple century, this time 232, which helped give Australia a big lead of 290 runs. In a crucial
partnership A partnership is an arrangement where parties, known as business partner A business partner is a commercial entity with which another commercial entity has some form of Business alliance, alliance. This relationship may be a contractual, exclus ...

partnership
with Archie Jackson, Bradman battled through a difficult session when England
fast bowler Pace bowling (also referred to as fast bowling) is one of two main approaches to bowling (cricket), bowling in the sport of cricket, the other being spin bowling. Practitioners of pace bowling are usually known as ''fast'' bowlers, ''quicks'', o ...

fast bowler
Harold Larwood Harold Larwood (14 November 1904 – 22 July 1995) was a professional cricketer for Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club and the England cricket team The England cricket team represents England England is a Countries of the United ...

Harold Larwood
bowled short on a pitch enlivened by the rain. ''Wisden'' gave this period of play only a passing mention: A number of English players and commentators noted Bradman's discomfort in playing the short, rising delivery. The revelation came too late for this particular match, but was to have immense significance in the next Ashes series. Australia won the match by an innings and regained the Ashes. The victory made an impact in Australia. With the economy sliding toward
depression Depression may refer to: Mental health * Depression (mood), a state of low mood and aversion to activity * Mood disorders characterized by depression are commonly referred to as simply ''depression'', including: ** Dysthymia ** Major depressive ...
and unemployment rapidly rising, the country found solace in sporting triumph. The story of a self-taught 22-year-old from the bush who set a series of records against the old rival made Bradman a national hero. The statistics Bradman achieved on the tour, especially in the Test matches, broke records for the day and some have stood the test of time. In all, Bradman scored 974 runs at an average of 139.14 during the Test series, with four centuries, including two double hundreds and a triple. As of 2018, no-one has matched or exceeded 974 runs or three double centuries in one Test series; the record of 974 runs exceeds the second-best performance by 69 runs and was achieved in two fewer innings. Bradman's first-class tally, 2,960 runs (at an average of 98.66 with 10 centuries), was another enduring record: the most by any overseas batsman on a tour of England. On the tour, the dynamic nature of Bradman's batting contrasted sharply with his quiet, solitary off-field demeanour. He was described as aloof from his teammates and he did not offer to buy them a round of drinks, let alone share the money given to him by Whitelaw. Bradman spent a lot of his free time alone, writing, as he had sold the rights to a book. On his return to Australia, Bradman was surprised by the intensity of his reception; he became a "reluctant hero". Mick Simmons wanted to cash in on their employee's newly won fame. They asked Bradman to leave his teammates and attend official receptions they organised in Adelaide, Melbourne,
Goulburn Goulburn is a regional city in the Southern Tablelands of the Australian States and territories of Australia, state of New South Wales, approximately south-west of Sydney, and north-east of Canberra. It was proclaimed as Australia's first inl ...
, his hometown Bowral and Sydney, where he received a brand new custom-built
Chevrolet Chevrolet ( ), colloquially referred to as Chevy and formally the Chevrolet Division of General Motors Company, is an American automobile division of the American manufacturer General Motors General Motors Company (GM) is an American Mul ...

Chevrolet
. At each stop, Bradman received a level of adulation that "embarrassed" him. This focus on individual accomplishment, in a team game, "... permanently damaged relationships with his contemporaries". Commenting on Australia's victory, the team's vice-captain
Vic Richardson Victor York Richardson (7 September 189430 October 1969) was a leading Australian sportsman of the 1920s and 1930s, captaining the Australia national cricket team, Australia cricket team and the South Australia Australian rules football team, r ...

Vic Richardson
said, "... we could have played any team without Bradman, but we could not have played the blind school without
Clarrie Grimmett Clarence Victor Grimmett (25 December 1891 – 2 May 1980) was a New Zealand-born Australian cricket Cricket is a Bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players on a cricket field, field at the centre of w ...
". A modest Bradman can be heard in a 1930 recording saying "I have always endeavoured to do my best for the side, and the few centuries that have come my way have been achieved in the hope of winning matches. My one idea when going into bat was to make runs for Australia."


Reluctant hero

In 1930–31, against the first West Indian side to visit Australia, Bradman's scoring was more sedate than in England—although he did make 223 in 297 minutes in the Third Test at Brisbane and 152 in 154 minutes in the following Test at Melbourne. However, he scored quickly in a very successful sequence of innings against the
South Africans The population of South Africa South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the southernmost country in Africa. With over Demographics of South Africa, 59 million people, it is the world's List of countries by popu ...
in the Australian summer of 1931–32. For NSW against the tourists, he made 30, 135 and 219. In the Test matches, he scored , , 2 and ; his 299 not out in the Fourth Test, at Adelaide, set a new record for the highest score in a Test in Australia. Australia won nine of the ten Tests played over the two series. At this point, Bradman had played 15 Test matches since the beginning of 1930, scoring 2,227 runs at an average of 131. He had played 18 innings, scoring 10 centuries, six of which had extended beyond 200. His overall scoring rate was 42 runs per hour, with 856 (or 38.5% of his tally) scored in boundaries. Significantly, he had not hit a six, which typified Bradman's attitude: if he hit the ball along the ground, then it could not be caught. During this phase of his career, his youth and natural fitness allowed him to adopt a "machine-like" approach to batting. The South African fast bowler described
bowling Bowling is a Throwing sports#Target sports, target sport and recreational activity in which a player rolls a bowling ball, ball toward Bowling pin, pins (in pin bowling) or another target (in target bowling). The term ''bowling'' usually refe ...
to him as, "heart-breaking ... with his sort of cynical grin, which rather reminds one of the Sphinx ... he never seems to perspire".Williams (1996), pp. 78–81. Between these two seasons, Bradman seriously contemplated playing professional cricket in England with the Lancashire League club
Accrington Accrington is a town in the Hyndburn borough of Lancashire, England. It lies about east of Blackburn, west of Burnley, east of Preston, Lancashire, Preston, north of Manchester city centre and is situated on the mostly culverted River Hyndbu ...
, a move that, according to the rules of the day, would have ended his Test career. A consortium of three Sydney businesses offered an alternative. They devised a two-year contract whereby Bradman wrote for Associated Newspapers, broadcast on Radio
2UE 2UE is an all-music radio station in Sydney owned by Nine Entertainment Co Nine Entertainment Co. Holdings Limited (trade name, trading as Nine Entertainment Co.) is an Australian public company, publicly-listed media company with holdings in ...
and promoted the menswear retailing chain FJ Palmer and Son. However, the contract increased Bradman's dependence on his public profile, making it more difficult to maintain the privacy that he ardently desired. Bradman's chaotic wedding to Jessie Menzies in April 1932 epitomised these new and unwelcome intrusions into his private life. The church "was under siege all throughout the day ... uninvited guests stood on chairs and pews to get a better view"; police erected barriers that were broken down and many of those invited could not get a seat. Just weeks later, Bradman joined a private team organised by
Arthur Mailey Arthur Alfred Mailey (3 January 188631 December 1967) was an Australian cricket Cricket is a Bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players on a cricket field, field at the centre of which is a cricket pi ...
to tour the United States and Canada. He travelled with his wife, and the couple treated the trip as a honeymoon. Playing 51 games in 75 days, Bradman scored 3,779 runs at 102.1, with 18 centuries. Although the standard of play was not high, the effects of the amount of cricket Bradman had played in the three previous years, together with the strains of his celebrity status, began to show on his return home.


Bodyline

Within the
Marylebone Cricket Club Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) is a cricket club founded in 1787 and based since 1814 at Lord's Cricket Ground Lord's Cricket Ground, commonly known as Lord's, is a cricket Cricket is a Bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played betw ...
(MCC), which administered English cricket at the time, few voices were more influential than "Plum" Warner's, who, when considering England's response to Bradman, wrote that it "must evolve a new type of bowler and develop fresh ideas and strange tactics to curb his almost uncanny skill". To that end, Warner orchestrated the appointment of
Douglas Jardine Douglas Robert Jardine ( 1900 – 1958) was a cricketer who played 22 Test cricket, Test matches for England, captaining the side in 15 of those matches between 1931 and 1934. A right-handed Batting (cricket), batsman, he is best known for ...

Douglas Jardine
as England captain in 1931, as a prelude to Jardine leading the 1932–33 tour to Australia, with Warner as team manager. Remembering that Bradman had struggled against bouncers during his 232 at
The Oval The Oval, known for Naming rights#Stadium naming, sponsorship reasons as the Kia Oval, is an international cricket ground in Kennington, in the London Borough of Lambeth, in south London. The Oval has been the home ground of Surrey County Cri ...

The Oval
in 1930, Jardine decided to combine traditional
leg theory Leg theory is a bowling (cricket), bowling tactic in the sport of cricket. The term ''leg theory'' is somewhat archaic and seldom used any longer, but the basic tactic remains a play in modern cricket. Simply put, leg theory involves concentrating ...
with short-pitched bowling to combat Bradman. He settled on the
Nottinghamshire Nottinghamshire (; abbreviated Notts.) is a county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary The ''Chambers Dictionary'' (''TCD'') was first published by William Chamb ...
fast bowlers Pace bowling (also referred to as fast bowling) is one of two main approaches to bowling Bowling is a Throwing sports#Target sports, target sport and recreational activity in which a player rolls a bowling ball, ball toward Bowling pin, ...

fast bowlers
Harold Larwood Harold Larwood (14 November 1904 – 22 July 1995) was a professional cricketer for Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club and the England cricket team The England cricket team represents England England is a Countries of the United ...

Harold Larwood
and
Bill Voce Bill Voce (8 August 1909 – 6 June 1984) was an English cricket Cricket is a Bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players on a cricket field, field at the centre of which is a cricket pitch, pitch with ...
as the spearheads for his tactics. In support, the England selectors chose another three for the squad. The unusually high number of fast bowlers caused a lot of comment in both countries and roused Bradman's own suspicions. Bradman had other problems to deal with at this time; among these were bouts of illness from an undiagnosed malaise which had begun during the tour of North America,Williams (1996), pp. 90–91. and that the Australian Board of Control had initially refused permission for him to write a column for the ''Sydney Sun''. Bradman, who had signed a two-year contract with the newspaper, threatened to withdraw from cricket to honour his contract when the board denied him permission to write; eventually, the paper released Bradman from the contract, in a victory for the board. In three first-class games against England before the Tests, Bradman averaged just 17.16 in 6 innings. Jardine decided to give the new tactics a trial in only one game, a fixture against an Australian XI at
Melbourne Melbourne ( ) is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals (or more formally ''majuscule'') and smaller ...

Melbourne
. In this match, Bradman faced the leg theory and later warned local administrators that trouble was brewing if it continued. He withdrew from the First Test at the
Sydney Cricket Ground The Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) is a sports stadium in Sydney, Australia. It is used for Test cricket, Test, One Day International and Twenty20 cricket, as well as Australian rules football, rugby league, rugby union, and association football. ...
amid rumours that he had suffered a nervous breakdown. Despite his absence, England employed what were already becoming known as the
Bodyline Bodyline, also known as fast leg theory bowling, was a cricket Cricket is a bat-and-ball gameBat-and-ball may refer to: *Bat-and-ball games Bat-and-ball games (or safe haven games) are field games played by two opposing teams, in whic ...

Bodyline
tactics against the Australian batsmen and won an ill-tempered match. The public clamoured for the return of Bradman to defeat Bodyline: "he was the batsman who could conquer this cankerous bowling ... 'Bradmania', amounting almost to religious fervour, demanded his return". Recovered from his indisposition, Bradman returned to the side in
Alan Kippax Alan Falconer Kippax (25 May 1897 – 5 September 1972) was a cricketer for New South Wales cricket team, New South Wales (NSW) and Australian cricket team, Australia. Regarded as one of the great stylists of Australian cricket during the era ...
's position. A world record crowd of 63,993 at the
MCG Joseph McGinty Nichol (born August 9, 1968), known professionally as McG, is an American director, producer, and former record producer. He began his career in the music industry, directing music videos and producing various albums. He later ...

MCG
saw Bradman come to the
crease Crease may refer to: * A line (geometry) or mark made by folding or doubling any pliable substance * Crease (band), American hard rock band that formed in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida in 1994 * Crease pattern, origami diagram type that consists of all o ...
on the first day of the Second Test with the score at 2/67. A standing ovation ensued that delayed play for several minutes. Bradman anticipated receiving a bouncer as his first ball and, as the bowler delivered, he moved across his
stumps In cricket, the stumps are the three vertical posts that support the bails and form the wicket In cricket Cricket is a Bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players each on a cricket field, field at ...
to play the
hook shot In basketball, a hook shot is a play in which the offensive player, usually turned perpendicular to the basket, gently throws the ball with a sweeping motion of the arm farther from the basket in an upward arc with a follow-through which ends ove ...
. The ball failed to rise and Bradman dragged it onto his
stumps In cricket, the stumps are the three vertical posts that support the bails and form the wicket In cricket Cricket is a Bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players each on a cricket field, field at ...
; the first-ball duck was his first in a Test. The crowd fell into stunned silence as he walked off. However, Australia took a first innings lead in the match, and another record crowd on 2 January 1933 watched Bradman hit a counter-attacking second innings century. His unbeaten 103 (from 146 balls) in a team total of 191 helped set England a target of 251 to win. Bill O'Reilly and
Bert Ironmonger Herbert Ironmonger (7 April 1882 – 31 May 1971) was an Australian cricketer Cricket is a bat-and-ball gameBat-and-ball may refer to: *Bat-and-ball games Bat-and-ball games (or safe haven games) are field games played by two opposing ...
bowled Australia to a series-levelling victory amid hopes that Bodyline was beaten. The Third Test at the
Adelaide Oval Adelaide Oval is a sports ground in Adelaide Adelaide ( ) is the capital city A capital or capital city is the municipality holding primary status in a Department (country subdivision), department, country, Constituent state, state, ...
proved pivotal. There were angry crowd scenes after the Australian captain
Bill Woodfull William Maldon Woodfull (22 August 1897 – 11 August 1965) was an Australian cricketer of the 1920s and 1930s. He captained both Victorian Bushrangers, Victoria and Australian cricket team, Australia, and was best known for his dignified and m ...

Bill Woodfull
and
wicket-keeper The wicket-keeper in the sport of cricket Cricket is a Bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players each on a cricket field, field at the centre of which is a cricket pitch, pitch with a wicket at e ...
Bert Oldfield William Albert Stanley Oldfield (9 September 1894 – 10 August 1976) was an Australian cricket Cricket is a Bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players on a cricket field, field at the centre of which ...

Bert Oldfield
were hit by bouncers. An apologetic Plum Warner entered the Australian dressing room and was rebuked by Woodfull. Woodfull's remarks (that "...there are two teams out there and only one of them is playing cricket") were leaked to the press, and Warner and others attributed this to Australian opening batsman
Jack Fingleton John Henry Webb Fingleton (28 April 190822 November 1981) was an Australian cricket Cricket is a Bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players on a cricket field, field at the centre of which is a crick ...

Jack Fingleton
, however for many years (even after Fingleton's death) a bitter war of accusation passed between Fingleton and Bradman as to who was the real source of the leak. In a cable to the MCC, the Australian Board of Control repeated the allegation of poor sportsmanship directed at Warner by Woodfull. With the support of the MCC, England continued with Bodyline despite Australian protests. The tourists won the last three Tests convincingly and regained the Ashes. Bradman caused controversy with his own tactics. Always seeking to score, and with the
leg side The leg side, or on side, is defined to be a particular half of the field used to play the sport Sport pertains to any form of Competition, competitive physical activity or game that aims to use, maintain or improve physical ability and Sk ...
packed with fielders, he often backed away and hit the ball into the vacant half of the outfield with unorthodox shots reminiscent of tennis or golf. This brought him 396 runs ( at 56.57) for the series and plaudits for attempting to find a solution to Bodyline, although his series average was just 57% of his career mean. Jack Fingleton was in no doubt that Bradman's game altered irrevocably as a consequence of Bodyline, writing: The constant glare of celebrity and the tribulations of the season forced Bradman to reappraise his life outside the game and to seek a career away from his cricketing fame. Harry Hodgetts, a South Australian delegate to the Board of Control, offered Bradman work as a stockbroker if he would relocate to Adelaide and captain
South Australia South Australia (abbreviated as SA) is a States and territories of Australia, state in the southern central part of Australia. It covers some of the most arid parts of the country. With a total land area of , it is the fourth-largest of Austral ...
(SA). Unknown to the public, the SA Cricket Association (SACA) instigated Hodgetts' approach and subsidised Bradman's wage. Although his wife was hesitant about moving, Bradman eventually agreed to the deal in February 1934.


Declining health and a brush with death

In his farewell season for NSW, Bradman averaged 132.44, his best yet. He was appointed vice-captain for the 1934 tour of England. However, "he was unwell for much of the nglishsummer, and reports in newspapers hinted that he was suffering from heart trouble". Although he again started with a double century at
Worcester Worcester may refer to: Places United Kingdom * Worcester, England, a city in Worcestershire ** Worcester (UK Parliament constituency) * Worcester Park, London, England * Worcestershire, a county in England United States * Worcester, Massachus ...
, his famed concentration soon deserted him. ''Wisden'' wrote: At one stage, Bradman went 13 first-class innings without a century, the longest such spell of his career, prompting suggestions that Bodyline had eroded his confidence and altered his technique. After three Tests, the series was one–one and Bradman had scored 133 runs in five innings. The Australians travelled to
Sheffield Sheffield is a and in , England. The name derives from the which runs through the city. It is a part of , although some southern suburbs have been annexed from . It is situated east of , south of and north of . It is the largest settlement ...
and played a warm up game before the Fourth Test. Bradman started slowly and then, "... the old Bradman back with us, in the twinkling of an eye, almost". He went on to make 140, with the last 90 runs coming in just 45 minutes. On the opening day of the Fourth Test at Headingley (Leeds), England were out for 200, but Australia slumped to 3/39, losing the third wicket from the last ball of the day. Listed to bat at number five, Bradman would start his innings the next day. That evening, Bradman declined an invitation to dinner from
Neville Cardus Sir John Frederick Neville Cardus, CBE (2 April 188828 February 1975) was an English writer and critic. From an impoverished home background, and mainly self-educated, he became '' The Manchester Guardian''s cricket Cricket is a Bat-and- ...
, telling the journalist that he wanted an early night because the team needed him to make a double century the next day. Cardus pointed out that his previous innings on the ground was 334, and the
law of averages The law of averages is the commonly held belief that a particular Outcome (probability), outcome or Event (probability theory), event will, over certain periods of time, occur at a Frequency (statistics), frequency that is similar to its probability ...
was against another such score. Bradman told Cardus, "I don't believe in the law of averages". In the event, Bradman batted all of the second day and into the third, putting on a then world record partnership of 388 with Bill Ponsford. When he was finally out for 304 (473 balls, 43 fours and 2 sixes), Australia had a lead of 350 runs, but rain prevented them from forcing a victory. The effort of the lengthy innings stretched Bradman's reserves of energy, and he did not play again until the Fifth Test at The Oval, the match that would decide the Ashes. In the first innings at The Oval, Bradman and Ponsford recorded an even more massive partnership, this time 451 runs. It had taken them less than a month to break the record they had set at Headingley; this new world record was to last 57 years. Bradman's share of the stand was 244 from 271 balls, and the Australian total of 701 set up victory by 562 runs. For the fourth time in five series, the Ashes changed hands. England would not recover them again until after Bradman's retirement. Seemingly restored to full health, Bradman blazed two centuries in the last two games of the tour. However, when he returned to London to prepare for the trip home, he experienced severe abdominal pain. It took a doctor more than 24 hours to diagnose acute
appendicitis Appendicitis is inflammation Inflammation (from la, inflammatio) is part of the complex biological response of body tissues to harmful stimuli, such as pathogen In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living ...

appendicitis
and a surgeon operated immediately. Bradman lost a lot of blood during the four-hour procedure and
peritonitis Peritonitis is inflammation of the peritoneum, the lining of the inner wall of the abdomen and cover of the abdominal organs. Symptoms may include severe pain, swelling of the abdomen, fever, or weight loss. One part or the entire abdomen may be ...
set in. Penicillin and sulphonamides were still experimental treatments at this time; peritonitis was usually a fatal condition.Williams (1996), pp. 136–37. On 25 September, the hospital issued a statement that Bradman was struggling for his life and that blood donors were needed urgently.O'Reilly (1985), p. 139. "The effect of the announcement was little short of spectacular". The hospital could not deal with the number of donors, and closed its switchboard in the face of the avalanche of telephone calls generated by the news. Journalists were asked by their editors to prepare obituaries. Teammate Bill O'Reilly took a call from secretary asking that the King be kept informed of the situation. Jessie Bradman started the month-long journey to London as soon as she received the news. En route, she heard a rumour that her husband had died. A telephone call clarified the situation and by the time she reached London, Bradman had begun a slow recovery. He followed medical advice to convalesce, taking several months to return to Australia and missing the 1934–35 Australian season.


Internal politics and the Test captaincy

There was off-field intrigue in Australian cricket during the antipodean winter of 1935. Australia, scheduled to make a tour of South Africa at the end of the year, needed to replace the retired Bill Woodfull as captain. The Board of Control wanted Bradman to lead the team, yet, on 8 August, the board announced Bradman's withdrawal from the team due to a lack of fitness. Surprisingly, in the light of this announcement, Bradman led the South Australian team in a full programme of matches that season.Bradman (1950), pp. 94–97. The captaincy was given to
Vic Richardson Victor York Richardson (7 September 189430 October 1969) was a leading Australian sportsman of the 1920s and 1930s, captaining the Australia national cricket team, Australia cricket team and the South Australia Australian rules football team, r ...

Vic Richardson
, Bradman's predecessor as South Australian captain. Cricket author Chris Harte's analysis of the situation is that a prior (unspecified) commercial agreement forced Bradman to remain in Australia. Harte attributed an ulterior motive to his relocation: the off-field behaviour of Richardson and other South Australian players had displeased the South Australia Cricket Association (SACA), which was looking for new leadership. To help improve discipline, Bradman became a committeeman of the SACA, and a selector of the South Australian and Australian teams. He took his adopted state to its first
Sheffield Shield The Sheffield Shield (currently known for sponsorship reasons as the Marsh Sheffield Shield) is the domestic first-class cricket competition of Australia. The tournament is contested between teams from the six states of Australia. Sheffield Shi ...
title for 10 years, Bradman weighing in with personal contributions of 233 against Queensland and 357 against Victoria. He finished the season with 369 (in 233 minutes), a South Australian record, made against
Tasmania Tasmania (), abbreviated as TAS, is an island An island (or isle) is an isolated piece of habitat that is surrounded by a dramatically different habitat, such as water. Very small islands such as emergent land features on atol ...
. The bowler who dismissed him, , would later become leader of the Tasmanian Liberal Party. Australia defeated South Africa 4–0 and senior players such as Bill O'Reilly were pointed in their comments about the enjoyment of playing under Richardson's captaincy. A group of players who were openly hostile toward Bradman formed during the tour. For some, the prospect of playing under Bradman was daunting, as was the knowledge that he would additionally be sitting in judgement of their abilities in his role as a selector.Williams (1996), p. 148. To start the new season, the Test side played a "Rest of Australia" team, captained by Bradman, at
Sydney Sydney ( ; Dharug The Darug or Dharug people are an Aboriginal Australian people, who share strong ties of kinship and, in Colonial Australia, pre-colonial times, survived as skilled hunters in family groups or clans, scattered througho ...
in early October 1936. The Test XI suffered a big defeat, due to Bradman's 212 and a haul of 12 wickets taken by
leg-spinner . Image:slow left arm small.gif, A leg spin or leg break delivery bowled from wikt:around the wicket, around the wicket. Leg spin is a type of spin bowling in cricket. A leg spinner bowls right-arm with a wrist spin action. The leg spinner's norm ...
Frank Ward. Bradman let the members of the Test team know that despite their recent success, the team still required improvement. Shortly afterwards, Bradman's first child was born on 28 October, but died the next day. He took time out of cricket for two weeks and on his return made 192 in three hours against Victoria in the last match before the beginning of the Ashes series. The Test selectors made five changes to the team who had played in the previous Test match. Significantly, Australia's most successful bowler
Clarrie Grimmett Clarence Victor Grimmett (25 December 1891 – 2 May 1980) was a New Zealand-born Australian cricket Cricket is a Bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players on a cricket field, field at the centre of w ...
was replaced by Ward, one of four players making their debut. Bradman's role in Grimmett's omission from the team was controversial and it became a theme that dogged Bradman as Grimmett continued to be prolific in domestic cricket while his successors were ineffective—he was regarded as having finished the veteran bowler's Test career in a political purge. Australia fell to successive defeats in the opening two Tests, Bradman making two
ducks Duck is the common name for numerous species of waterfowl Anseriformes is an order (biology), order of birds that comprise about 180 living species in three families: Anhimidae (the 3 screamers), Anseranatidae (the magpie goose), and Anati ...
in his four innings, and it seemed that the captaincy was affecting his form. The selectors made another four changes to the team for the Third Test at
Melbourne Melbourne ( ) is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals (or more formally ''majuscule'') and smaller ...

Melbourne
. Bradman won the toss on New Year's Day 1937, but again failed with the bat, scoring just 13. The Australians could not take advantage of a
pitch Pitch may refer to: Acoustic frequency * Pitch (music), the perceived frequency of sound including "definite pitch" and "indefinite pitch" ** Absolute pitch or "perfect pitch" ** Pitch class, a set of all pitches that are a whole number of octaves ...

pitch
that favoured batting, and finished the day at 6/181. On the second day, rain dramatically altered the course of the game. With the sun drying the pitch (in those days, covers could not be used during matches) Bradman declared to get England in to bat while the pitch was ""; England also declared to get Australia back in, conceding a lead of 124. Bradman countered by reversing his batting order to protect his run-makers while conditions improved. The ploy worked and Bradman went in at number seven. In an innings spread over three days, he battled influenza while scoring 270 off 375 balls, sharing a record partnership of 346 with
Jack Fingleton John Henry Webb Fingleton (28 April 190822 November 1981) was an Australian cricket Cricket is a Bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players on a cricket field, field at the centre of which is a crick ...

Jack Fingleton
, and Australia went on to victory. In 2001, ''Wisden'' rated this performance as the best Test match innings of all time. The next Test, at the
Adelaide Oval Adelaide Oval is a sports ground in Adelaide Adelaide ( ) is the capital city A capital or capital city is the municipality holding primary status in a Department (country subdivision), department, country, Constituent state, state, ...
, was fairly even until Bradman played another patient second innings, making 212 from 395 balls. Australia levelled the series when the erratic left-arm spinner "Chuck" Fleetwood-Smith bowled Australia to victory. In the series-deciding Fifth Test, Bradman returned to a more aggressive style in top-scoring with 169 (off 191 balls) in Australia's 604 and Australia won by an innings. Australia's achievement of winning a Test series after outright losses in the first two matches has never been repeated in Test cricket.


End of an era

During the 1938 tour of England, Bradman played the most consistent cricket of his career. He needed to score heavily as England had a strengthened batting line-up, while the Australian
bowling Bowling is a Throwing sports#Target sports, target sport and recreational activity in which a player rolls a bowling ball, ball toward Bowling pin, pins (in pin bowling) or another target (in target bowling). The term ''bowling'' usually refe ...
was over-reliant on O'Reilly. Grimmett was overlooked, but
Jack Fingleton John Henry Webb Fingleton (28 April 190822 November 1981) was an Australian cricket Cricket is a Bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players on a cricket field, field at the centre of which is a crick ...

Jack Fingleton
made the team, so the clique of anti-Bradman players remained. Playing 26 
innings An innings is one of the divisions of a cricket match during which one team takes its turn to batting (cricket), bat. Innings also means the period in which an individual player bats (acts as either striker or nonstriker). Innings, in cricket, a ...
on tour, Bradman recorded 13 centuries (a new Australian record) and again made 1,000 
first-class First class (or 1st class, Firstclass) generally implies a high level of service, importance or quality. Specific uses of the term include: Books and Comics * ''First Class'', List of Dandy comic strips, a comic strip in ''The Dandy'' (1983-1998 ...
runs before the end of May, becoming the only player to do so twice. In scoring 2,429 runs, Bradman achieved the highest average ever recorded in an English season: 115.66. In the First Test, England amassed a big first innings score and looked likely to win, but
Stan McCabe Stanley Joseph McCabe (16 July 1910 – 25 August 1968) was an Australian cricketer who played 39 Test cricket, Test matches for Australia from 1930 to 1938. A short, stocky right-hander, McCabe was described by ''Wisden Cricketers' Almanac ...

Stan McCabe
made 232 for Australia, a performance Bradman rated as the best he had ever seen. With Australia forced to
follow-on In the game of cricket Cricket is a Bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players each on a cricket field, field at the centre of which is a cricket pitch, pitch with a wicket at each end, each comprising ...
, Bradman fought hard to ensure McCabe's effort was not in vain, and he secured the draw with 144 not out. It was the slowest Test hundred of his career and he played a similar innings of 102 not out in the next Test as Australia struggled to another draw. Rain completely washed out the Third Test at
Old Trafford Old Trafford () is a football Football is a family of team sport A team is a Old Trafford Old Trafford () is a association football, football stadium in Old Trafford (area), Old Trafford, Greater Manchester, England, and the hom ...
. Australia's opportunity came at Headingley, a Test described by Bradman as the best he ever played in.Bradman (1950), pp. 115–118. England batted first and made 223. During the Australian innings, Bradman backed himself by opting to bat on in poor light conditions, reasoning that Australia could score more runs in bad light on a good pitch than on a rain affected pitch in good light, when he had the option to go off. He scored 103 out of a total of 242 and the gamble paid off, as it meant there was sufficient time to push for victory when an England collapse left them a target of only 107 to win. Australia slumped to 4/61, with Bradman out for 16. An approaching storm threatened to wash the game out, but the poor weather held off and Australia managed to secure the win, a victory that retained the Ashes. For the only time in his life, the tension of the occasion got to Bradman and he could not watch the closing stages of play, a reflection of the pressure that he felt all tour: he described the captaincy as "exhausting" and said he "found it difficult to keep going". The euphoria of securing the Ashes preceded Australia's heaviest defeat. At
The Oval The Oval, known for Naming rights#Stadium naming, sponsorship reasons as the Kia Oval, is an international cricket ground in Kennington, in the London Borough of Lambeth, in south London. The Oval has been the home ground of Surrey County Cri ...

The Oval
, England amassed a world record of 7/903 and their opening batsman
Len Hutton Sir Leonard Hutton (23 June 1916 – 6 September 1990) was an English cricket Cricket is a Bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players on a cricket field, field at the centre of which is a cricket pi ...
scored an individual world record, by making 364. In an attempt to relieve the burden on his bowlers, Bradman took a rare turn at bowling. During his third
over Over may refer to: Places *Over, Cambridgeshire, England *Over, Cheshire, England *Over, Gloucestershire, near Gloucester, England **Over Bridge *Over, South Gloucestershire, England *Over, Seevetal, Germany Music Albums *Over (album), ''Over' ...
, he fractured his ankle and teammates carried him from the ground. With Bradman injured and Fingleton unable to bat because of a leg muscle strain, Australia were thrashed by an innings and 579 runs, which remains the largest margin in Test cricket history. Unfit to complete the tour, Bradman left the team in the hands of vice-captain Stan McCabe. At this point, Bradman felt that the burden of captaincy would prevent him from touring England again, although he did not make his doubts public. Despite the pressure of captaincy, Bradman's batting form remained supreme. An experienced, mature player now commonly called "The Don" had replaced the blitzing style of his early days as the "Boy from Bowral". In 1938–39, he led
South Australia South Australia (abbreviated as SA) is a States and territories of Australia, state in the southern central part of Australia. It covers some of the most arid parts of the country. With a total land area of , it is the fourth-largest of Austral ...
to the
Sheffield Shield The Sheffield Shield (currently known for sponsorship reasons as the Marsh Sheffield Shield) is the domestic first-class cricket competition of Australia. The tournament is contested between teams from the six states of Australia. Sheffield Shi ...
and made a century in six consecutive innings to equal 's world record. Bradman totalled 21 first-class centuries in 34 innings, from the beginning of the 1938 tour of England (including preliminary games in Australia) until early 1939. The next season, Bradman made an abortive bid to join the Victoria state side. The
Melbourne Cricket Club The Melbourne Cricket Club (MCC) is a sports club 250px, A sport club in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, showing various paved and painted surfaces for futsal">Brazil.html" ;"title="Belo Horizonte, Brazil">Belo Horizonte, Brazil, showing various pav ...
advertised the position of club secretary and he was led to believe that if he applied, he would get the job. The position, which had been held by
Hugh Trumble Hugh Trumble (19 May 1867 – 14 August 1938) was an Australian cricket Cricket is a Bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players on a cricket field, field at the centre of which is a cricket pitch, pit ...

Hugh Trumble
until his death in August 1938, was one of the most prestigious jobs in Australian cricket. The annual salary of £1,000 would make Bradman financially secure while allowing him to retain a connection with the game.Williams (1996), pp. 182–183. "Nevertheless, the Secretaryship of the Melbourne Cricket Club was, and indeed, still is one of the most attractive jobs in the world of Australian cricket ..." On 18 January 1939, the club's committee, on the casting vote of the chairman, chose former Test batsman
Vernon Ransford Vernon Seymour Ransford (20 March 1885 – 19 March 1958) was an Australian cricketer who played in 20 Test cricket, Tests between 1907 and 1912. His best series was the 1909 tour of England when he topped the Australian batting averages, helped ...
over Bradman. The 1939–40 season was Bradman's most productive ever for SA: 1,448 runs at an average of 144.8. He made three double centuries, including 251 not out against NSW, the innings that he rated the best he ever played in the Sheffield Shield, as he tamed Bill O'Reilly at the height of his form. However, it was the end of an era. The outbreak of World War II led to the indefinite postponement of all cricket tours, and the suspension of the Sheffield Shield competition.


Troubled war years

Bradman joined the
Royal Australian Air Force "Through Adversity to the Stars" , colours = , colours_label = , march = Royal Australian Air Force March Past (Eagles of Australia) , mascot = , anni ...
(RAAF) on 28 June 1940 and was passed fit for air crew duty.Williams (1996), p. 187. The RAAF had more recruits than it could equip and train and Bradman spent four months in
Adelaide Adelaide ( ) is the capital city A capital or capital city is the municipality holding primary status in a Department (country subdivision), department, country, Constituent state, state, province, or other administrative region, usually ...

Adelaide
before the Governor-General of Australia, Lord Gowrie, persuaded Bradman to transfer to the army, a move that was criticised as a safer option for him. Given the rank of
lieutenant A lieutenant ( or abbreviated Lt., Lt, LT, Lieut and similar) is a commissioned officer An officer is a person who holds a position of authority as a member of an armed force A military, also known collectively as armed forces, i ...
, he was posted to the Army School of Physical Training at
Frankston, Victoria Frankston is a suburb of Melbourne in Victoria, Australia, in the local government area of the City of Frankston. It is located 41 km south-east of the Melbourne city centre, north of the Mornington Peninsula. Due to its geographic locati ...
, to act as a divisional supervisor of physical training. The exertion of the job aggravated his chronic muscular problems, diagnosed as . Surprisingly, in light of his batting prowess, a routine army test revealed that Bradman had poor eyesight. Invalided out of service in June 1941, Bradman spent months recuperating, unable even to shave himself or comb his hair due to the extent of the muscular pain he suffered. He resumed stockbroking during 1942. In his biography of Bradman, Charles Williams expounded the theory that the physical problems were psychosomatic, induced by stress and possibly depression; Bradman read the book's manuscript and did not disagree. Had any cricket been played at this time, he would not have been available. Although he found some relief in 1945 when referred to the
Melbourne Melbourne ( ) is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals (or more formally ''majuscule'') and smaller ...
masseur Ern Saunders, Bradman permanently lost the feeling in the thumb and index finger of his (dominant) right hand. In June 1945, Bradman faced a financial crisis when the firm of Harry Hodgetts collapsed due to fraud and embezzlement. Bradman moved quickly to set up his own business, utilising Hodgetts' client list and his old office in Grenfell Street, Adelaide. The fallout led to a prison term for Hodgetts, and left a stigma attached to Bradman's name in the city's business community for many years. However, the SA Cricket Association had no hesitation in appointing Bradman as their delegate to the Board of Control in place of Hodgetts. Now working alongside some of the men he had battled in the 1930s, Bradman quickly became a leading light in the administration of the game. With the resumption of international cricket, he was once more appointed a Test selector, and played a major role in planning for post-war cricket.


"The ghost of a once great cricketer"

In 1945–46, Bradman suffered regular bouts of fibrositis while coming to terms with increased administrative duties and the establishment of his business. He played for
South Australia South Australia (abbreviated as SA) is a States and territories of Australia, state in the southern central part of Australia. It covers some of the most arid parts of the country. With a total land area of , it is the fourth-largest of Austral ...
in two matches to help with the re-establishment of first-class cricket and later described his batting as "painstaking". Batting against the Australian Services cricket team, Bradman scored 112 in less than two hours, yet Dick Whitington (playing for the Services) wrote, "I have seen today the ghost of a once great cricketer". Bradman declined a tour of New Zealand and spent the winter of 1946 wondering whether he had played his last match. "With the English team due to arrive for the 1946–47 Ashes series, the media and the public were anxious to know if Bradman would lead
Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a Sovereign state, sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australia (continent), Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous List of islands of Australia, sma ...
."Williams (1996) pp. 205–206. "It was all the more obvious that, on any analysis, the only figure of stature who could lead Australia back into the post-War cricket era was 'the little feller', the 'sick man of Adelaide', the wartime invalid now nearing forty. It is little wonder that all Australia wanted to know precisely what he was proposing to do." His doctor recommended against a return to the game. Encouraged by his wife, Bradman agreed to play in lead-up fixtures to the Test series. After hitting two centuries, Bradman made himself available for the First Test at
The Gabba The Brisbane Cricket Ground, commonly known as the Gabba, is a major sports stadium A stadium (plural stadiums or stadia) is a place or venue for (mostly) outdoor sports, concerts, or other events and consists of a field or stage eithe ...
. Controversy emerged on the first day of the First Test at Brisbane. After compiling an uneasy 28 runs, Bradman hit a ball to the
gully A gully is a landform A landform is a natural or artificial feature of the solid surface of the Earth or other planetary body A planet is an astronomical body Astronomy (from el, ἀστρονομία, literally meaning the scien ...

gully
fieldsman,
Jack Ikin John Thomas Ikin (7 March 1918 – 15 September 1984) was an English cricket Cricket is a Bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players on a cricket field, field at the centre of which is a cricket pitch ...
. "An appeal for a Catch (cricket), catch was denied in the Umpiring in the 1946–47 Ashes series#Catches and Stumpings, umpire's contentious ruling that it was a List of cricket terms#B, bump ball". At the end of the
over Over may refer to: Places *Over, Cambridgeshire, England *Over, Cheshire, England *Over, Gloucestershire, near Gloucester, England **Over Bridge *Over, South Gloucestershire, England *Over, Seevetal, Germany Music Albums *Over (album), ''Over' ...
, England captain Wally Hammond spoke with Bradman and criticised him for not "List of cricket terms#W, walking"; "from then on the series was a cricketing war just when most people desired peace", Whitington wrote. Bradman regained his finest pre-war form in making 187, followed by 234 during the Second Test at
Sydney Sydney ( ; Dharug The Darug or Dharug people are an Aboriginal Australian people, who share strong ties of kinship and, in Colonial Australia, pre-colonial times, survived as skilled hunters in family groups or clans, scattered througho ...
(Sid Barnes also scored 234 during the innings, many in a still standing record 405 run Wicket#Partnership, 5th Wicket Partnership (cricket), partnership with Bradman. Barnes later recalled that he purposely got out on 234 because "it wouldn't be right for someone to make more runs than Bradman"). Australia won both matches by an innings. Jack Fingleton speculated that had the decision at Brisbane gone against him, Bradman would have retired, such were his fitness problems. In the remainder of the series, Bradman made three half-centuries in six innings, but was unable to make another century; nevertheless, his team won handsomely, 3–0. He was the leading batsman on either side, with an average of 97.14. Nearly 850,000 spectators watched the Tests, which helped lift public spirits after the war.


Century of centuries and "The Invincibles"

India national cricket team, India made its first tour of Australia in the 1947–48 season. On 15 November, Bradman made 172 against them for an Australian XI at
Sydney Sydney ( ; Dharug The Darug or Dharug people are an Aboriginal Australian people, who share strong ties of kinship and, in Colonial Australia, pre-colonial times, survived as skilled hunters in family groups or clans, scattered througho ...
, his 100th
first-class First class (or 1st class, Firstclass) generally implies a high level of service, importance or quality. Specific uses of the term include: Books and Comics * ''First Class'', List of Dandy comic strips, a comic strip in ''The Dandy'' (1983-1998 ...
century. The first non-Englishman to achieve the milestone, Bradman remains the only Australian to have done so. Bradman scored 117 centuries. At 14 May 2008, the closest Australians to the 100-century mark are Darren Lehmann and Justin Langer with 82. The other non-English players to score 100 centuries—Viv Richards, Zaheer Abbas and Glenn Turner—started their first-class cricket careers after Bradman had retired from all forms of cricket. In five Tests, he scored 715 runs (at 178.75 average). His last double century (201) came at Adelaide Oval, Adelaide, and he scored a century in each innings of the Melbourne Test. On the eve of the Fifth Test, he announced that the match would be his last in Australia, although he would tour England as a farewell. Australia had assembled one of the great teams of cricket history. Bradman made it known that he wanted to go through the tour unbeaten, a feat never before accomplished. English spectators were drawn to the matches knowing that it would be their last opportunity to see Bradman in action. R. C. Robertson-Glasgow, RC Robertson-Glasgow observed of Bradman that: Despite his waning powers, Bradman compiled 11 centuries on the tour, amassing 2,428 runs (average 89.92). His highest score of the tour (187) came against Essex County Cricket Club, Essex, when Australia compiled a world record of 721 runs in a day. In the Tests, he scored a century at Trent Bridge, but the performance most like his pre-war exploits came in the Fourth Test at Headingley. England declared on the last morning of the game, setting Australia a world record 404 runs to win in only 345 minutes on a Cricket pitch, heavily worn pitch. In Innings, partnership with Arthur Morris (182), Bradman reeled off 173 not out and the match was won with 15 minutes to spare. The journalist Ray Robinson (cricket writer), Ray Robinson called the victory "the 'finest ever' in its conquest of seemingly insuperable odds". In the final Test at
The Oval The Oval, known for Naming rights#Stadium naming, sponsorship reasons as the Kia Oval, is an international cricket ground in Kennington, in the London Borough of Lambeth, in south London. The Oval has been the home ground of Surrey County Cri ...

The Oval
, Bradman walked out to bat in Australia's first innings. He received a standing ovation from the crowd and three cheers from the opposition. His Test batting average stood at 101.39. Facing the Spin bowling, wrist-spin of Eric Hollies, Bradman pushed forward to the second ball that he faced, was deceived by a googly, and bowled between bat and pad for a Duck (cricket), duck. An England batting collapse resulted in an innings defeat, denying Bradman the opportunity to bat again and so his career average finished at 99.94;Baldwin (2005), p. 109. if he had scored just four runs in his last innings, it would have been 100. A story developed over the years that claimed Bradman missed the ball because of tears in his eyes, a claim Bradman denied for the rest of his life. The Australian team won the Ashes 4–0, completed the tour unbeaten, and entered history as " The Invincibles". Just as Bradman's legend grew, rather than diminished, over the years, so too has the reputation of the 1948 team. For Bradman, it was the most personally fulfilling period of his playing days, as the divisiveness of the 1930s had passed. He wrote: With Bradman now retired from professional cricket, R. C. Robertson-Glasgow, RC Robertson-Glasgow wrote of the English reaction "... a miracle has been removed from among us. So must ancient Italy have felt when she heard of the death of Hannibal".


Statistical summary


Test match performance


First-class performance


Test records

Bradman still holds the following significant records for Test match cricket:


Batting average

* Highest career batting average (minimum 20 innings): 99.94 * Highest series batting average (minimum 4-Test series): 201.50 (1931–32); also second-highest: 178.75 (1947–48)


Conversion rate

*Highest 50/100 conversion rate (minimum 2000 runs): 69.05% (29 centuries and 13 half-centuries) *Highest percentage of centuries per innings played: 36.25% (29 centuries from 80 innings) * Highest percentage of double centuries per innings played: 15% (12 double centuries from 80 innings)


Multiples of 100 runs

*Most double centuries: 12 * Most double centuries in a series: 3 (1930); also 2 (1931–32, 1934, 1936–37) * Most triple centuries: 2 (equal with Chris Gayle, Brian Lara and Virender Sehwag) Note: Bradman was stranded on 299* in the 4th Test against South Africa in 1932.


Scoring rate

*Most centuries accumulated within single session (cricket), sessions of play: 6 (1 pre lunch, 2 lunch-tea, 3 tea-stumps) * Most runs in one day's play: 309 (1930)


Fastest to multiples of 1000 runs

* Fewest matches required to reach 1000 (7 matches), 2000 (15 matches), 3000 (23 matches), 4000 (31 matches), 5000 (36 matches) and 6000 (45 matches) Test runs. * Fewest innings required to reach 2000 (22 innings), 3000 (33 innings), 4000 (48 innings), 5000 (56 innings) and 6000 (68 innings) Test runs.


Other

*Highest peak ICC Player Rankings, Test batting rating: 961 *Highest percentage of team runs over career: 24.28% *Highest 5th wicket partnership: 405 (with Sid Barnes, 1946–47) *Highest score by a number 7 batsman: 270 (1936–37) *Most runs against one opponent: 5,028 (England) *Most hundreds against one opponent: 19 (England) *Most runs in one series: 974 (1930) * Most consecutive matches in which he made a century: 6 (the last three Tests in 1936–37, and the first three Tests in 1938)


Cricket context

Bradman's Test batting average of 99.94 has become one of cricket's most famous, iconic statistics. No other player who has played more than 20 Test match innings has finished their career with a Test average of more than 62. Bradman scored century (cricket), centuries at a rate better than one every three innings—in 80 Test innings, Bradman scored 29 centuries. Only List of Test cricket records#Centuries, 11 players have since surpassed his total, all at a much slower rate: the next fastest player to reach 29 centuries, Sachin Tendulkar, required nearly twice as long (148 innings) to do so. In addition, Bradman converted 41% of his centuries into double centuries: his total of 12 Test double hundreds—comprising 15% of his innings—remains the most achieved by any Test batsman and was accumulated faster than any other total. For comparison, the next highest totals of Test double hundreds are Kumar Sangakkara's 11 in 223 innings (4.9%), Brian Lara's 9 in 232 innings (3.9%), and Wally Hammond's 7 in 140 innings (5%); the next highest rate of scoring Test double centuries was achieved by Vinod Kambli, whose 21 innings included 2 double centuries (9.5%).


World sport context

''Wisden'' hailed Bradman as, "the greatest phenomenon in the history of cricket, indeed in the history of all ball games". Statistician Charles Davis analysed the statistics for several prominent sportsmen by comparing the number of standard deviations that they stand above the Arithmetic mean, mean for their sport. The top performers in his selected sports are: The statistics show that "no other athlete dominates an international sport to the extent that Bradman does cricket". In order to post a similarly dominant career statistic as Bradman, a baseball batter would need a career batting average of .392, while a basketball player would need to score an average of 43.0 points per game over their career. The respective records are .366 and 30.1. When Bradman died, ''Time (magazine), Time'' allocated a space in its "Milestones" column for an obituary:


Playing style

Bradman's early development was shaped by the high bounce of the ball on . He favoured "horizontal-bat" shots (such as the hook, pull and cut) to deal with the bounce and devised a unique grip on the bat handle that would accommodate these strokes without compromising his ability to defend. Employing a side-on stance at the wicket, Bradman kept perfectly still as the bowler ran in. His backswing had a "crooked" look that troubled his early critics, but he resisted entreaties to change. His backswing kept his hands in close to the body, leaving him perfectly balanced and able to change his stroke mid-swing, if need be. Another telling factor was the decisiveness of Bradman's footwork. He "used the crease" by either coming metres down the pitch to drive, or playing so far back that his feet ended up level with the stumps when playing the cut, hook or pull. Bradman's game evolved with experience. He temporarily adapted his technique during the Bodyline series, deliberately moving around the crease in an attempt to score from the short-pitched deliveries. At his peak, in the mid-1930s, he had the ability to switch between a defensive and attacking approach as the occasion demanded. After the Second World War, he adjusted to bat within the limitations set by his age, becoming a steady "accumulator" of runs. However, Bradman never truly mastered batting on
sticky wicket A sticky wicket (or sticky dog, or glue pot) is a metaphor A metaphor is a figure of speech A figure of speech or rhetorical figure is a word or phrase that entails an intentional deviation from ordinary language use in order to produ ...

sticky wicket
s. ''Wisden'' commented, "[i]f there really is a blemish on his amazing record it is ... the absence of a significant innings on one of those 'sticky dogs' of old".


After cricket

After his return to Australia, Bradman played in his own Testimonial match at Melbourne, scoring his 117th and last century, and receiving £9,342 in proceeds. In the 1949 New Year Honours, he was appointed Knight Bachelor for his services to the game, becoming the only Australian cricketer ever to be knighted. He commented that he "would have preferred to remain just Mister". The following year he published a memoir, ''Farewell to Cricket''. Bradman accepted offers from the ''Daily Mail'' to travel with, and write about, the 1953 and 1956 Australian teams in England. ''The Art of Cricket'', his final book published in 1958, is an instructional manual. Bradman retired from his stockbroking business in June 1954, depending on the "comfortable" income earned as a board member of 16 publicly listed companies. His highest profile affiliation was with Argo Investments Limited, where he was chairman for a number of years. Charles Williams commented that, "[b]usiness was excluded on medical grounds, [so] the only sensible alternative was a career in the administration of the game which he loved and to which he had given most of his active life". Bradman was honoured at a number of cricket grounds, notably when his portrait was hung in the Long Room at
Lord's Lord's Cricket Ground, commonly known as Lord's, is a cricket Cricket is a Bat-and-ball games, bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players each on a cricket field, field at the centre of which is a cricket pitch, pitch ...
; until Shane Warne's portrait was added in 2005, Bradman was one of just three Australians to be honoured in this way. Bradman inaugurated a "Bradman Stand" at the
Sydney Cricket Ground The Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) is a sports stadium in Sydney, Australia. It is used for Test cricket, Test, One Day International and Twenty20 cricket, as well as Australian rules football, rugby league, rugby union, and association football. ...
in January 1974; the
Adelaide Oval Adelaide Oval is a sports ground in Adelaide Adelaide ( ) is the capital city A capital or capital city is the municipality holding primary status in a Department (country subdivision), department, country, Constituent state, state, ...
also opened a Bradman Stand in 1990, which housed new media and corporate facilities. The Oval's Bradman Stand was demolished in 2013 as the stadium underwent an extensive re-development. Later in 1974, he attended a Lord's Taverners function in London where he experienced heart problems, which forced him to limit his public appearances to select occasions only. With his wife, Bradman returned to Bowral, New South Wales, Bowral in 1976, where the new cricket ground was named in his honour. He gave the keynote speech at the historic Centenary Test at Melbourne in 1977. On 16 June 1979, the Australian government awarded Bradman the nation's second-highest civilian honour at that time, Companion of the Order of Australia (AC), "in recognition of service to the sport of cricket and cricket administration". In 1980, he resigned from the ACB, to lead a more secluded life.


Administrative career

In addition to acting as one of South Australia's delegates to the Board of Control from 1945 to 1980, Bradman was a committee member of the SACA between 1935 and 1986. It is estimated that he attended 1,713 SACA meetings during this half century of service. Aside from two years in the early 1950s, he filled a selector's berth for the Test team between 1936 and 1971. Cricket saw an increase in defensive play during the 1950s. As a selector, Bradman favoured attacking, positive cricketers who entertained the paying public. He formed an alliance with Australian captain Richie Benaud, seeking more attractive play, with some success. He served two high-profile periods as chairman of the board of Control, in 1960–63 and 1969–72. During the first, he dealt with the growing prevalence of illegal bowling actions in the game, a problem that he adjudged "the most complex I have known in cricket, because it is not a matter of fact but of opinion". The major controversy of his second stint was a proposed tour of Australia by South Africa in 1971–72. On Bradman's recommendation, the series was cancelled. Cricket journalist Michael Coward said of Bradman as an administrator: In the late 1970s, Bradman played an important role during the World Series Cricket schism as a member of a special Cricket Australia, Australian Cricket Board committee formed to handle the crisis. He was criticised for not airing an opinion, but he dealt with World Series Cricket far more pragmatically than other administrators. Richie Benaud described Bradman as "a brilliant administrator and businessman", warning that he was not to be underestimated. As Australian captain, Ian Chappell fought with Bradman over the issue of player remuneration in the early 1970s and has suggested that Bradman was parsimonious:


Later years and death

After his wife's death in 1997, Bradman suffered "a discernible and not unexpected wilting of spirit". The next year, on his 90th birthday, he hosted a meeting with his two favourite modern players, Shane Warne and Sachin Tendulkar, but he was not seen in his familiar place at the Adelaide Oval again. Hospitalised with pneumonia in December 2000, he returned home in the New Year and died there on 25 February 2001, aged 92. A memorial service to mark Bradman's life was held on 25 March 2001 at St Peter's Cathedral, Adelaide, St Peter's Anglican Cathedral, Adelaide. The service was attended by a host of former and current Test cricketers, as well as Australia's then prime minister,
John Howard John Winston Howard (born 26 July 1939) is an Australian former politician who served as the 25th prime minister of Australia The prime minister of Australia is the head of government The head of government is either the highest or s ...

John Howard
, leader of the opposition Kim Beazley and former prime minister Bob Hawke. Eulogies were given by Richie Benaud and Governor-General of Australia, Governor-General Sir William Deane. The service was broadcast live on ABC Television (Australian TV network), ABC Television to a viewing audience of 1.45 million. A private service for family and friends was earlier held at the Centennial Park Cemetery in the suburb of Pasadena, South Australia, Pasadena, with many people lining both Greenhill Road, Adelaide, Greenhill and Goodwood Road, Adelaide, Goodwood Roads to pay their respects as his funeral motorcade passed by.


Legacy

Cricket writer David Frith summed up the paradox of the continuing fascination with Bradman: As early as 1939, Bradman had a Royal Navy ship named after him. Built as a fishing trawler in 1936, was taken over by the British Admiralty, Admiralty in 1939, but was sunk by German aircraft the following year. In the 1963 edition of ''Wisden Cricketers' Almanack'', Bradman was selected by
Neville Cardus Sir John Frederick Neville Cardus, CBE (2 April 188828 February 1975) was an English writer and critic. From an impoverished home background, and mainly self-educated, he became '' The Manchester Guardian''s cricket Cricket is a Bat-and- ...
as one of the Six Giants of the Wisden Century. This was a special commemorative selection requested by Wisden for its 100th edition.''Six Giants of the Wisden Century''
Neville Cardus Sir John Frederick Neville Cardus, CBE (2 April 188828 February 1975) was an English writer and critic. From an impoverished home background, and mainly self-educated, he became '' The Manchester Guardian''s cricket Cricket is a Bat-and- ...
, ''Wisden Cricketers' Almanack'', 1963. Retrieved on 8 November 2008.
The other five players chosen were: Sydney Barnes, W. G. Grace, Jack Hobbs, Tom Richardson (cricketer), Tom Richardson and
Victor Trumper Victor Thomas Trumper (2 November 1877 – 28 June 1915) was an Australian cricketer known as the most stylish and versatile batsman of the Golden Age of cricket, capable of playing match-winning innings on wet wickets his contemporaries found u ...

Victor Trumper
. On 10 December 1985, Bradman was the first of 120 inaugural inductees into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame. He spoke of his philosophy for considering the stature of athletes: Although modest about his own abilities and generous in his praise of other cricketers, Bradman was fully aware of the talents he possessed as a player; there is some evidence that he sought to influence his legacy.Eason (2004), p. 16. During the 1980s and 1990s, Bradman carefully selected the people to whom he gave interviews, assisting Michael Page, Roland Perry and Charles Williams, who all produced biographical works about him. Bradman also agreed to an extensive interview for ABC Radio and Regional Content, ABC radio, broadcast as ''Bradman: The Don Declares'' in eight 55-minute episodes during 1988. The most significant of these legacy projects was the International Cricket Hall of Fame, Bradman Museum, opened in 1989 at the Bradman Oval in Bowral. This organisation was reformed in 1993 as a non-profit charitable Trust, called the Bradman Foundation. In 2010, it was expanded and rebranded as the International Cricket Hall of Fame. When the Australian Cricket Hall of Fame was created in Melbourne in 1996, Bradman was made one of its 10 inaugural members. In 2000, Bradman was selected by cricket experts as one of five ''Wisden Cricketers of the Century''. Each of the 100 members of the panel were able to select five cricketers: all 100 voted for Bradman. The
ICC Cricket Hall of Fame The ICC Cricket Hall of Fame recognises "the achievements of the legends of the game from cricket's long and illustrious history". It was launched by the International Cricket Council (ICC) in Dubai on 2 January 2009, in association with the Fede ...
inducted him on 19 November 2009. Bradman's life and achievements were recognised in Australia with two notable issues. Three years before he died, he became the first living Australian to be featured on an Australian postage stamp. After his death, the Australian Government produced a Australian twenty-cent coin, 20-cent coin to commemorate his life. On 27 August 2018, to celebrate 110 years since his birth, Bradman was commemorated with a Google Doodle. To mark 150 years of the Cricketers' Almanack, Wisden named him as captain of an all-time Test World XI. In 1999, Bradman was named in the six man shortlist for BBC Sports Personality of the Year#Sports Personality of the Century Award, BBC Sports Personality of the Century. Asteroid 2472 Bradman discovered by Luboš Kohoutek is named in his honour.


Family life

Bradman first met Jessie Martha Menzies in 1920 when she boarded with the Bradman family, to be closer to school in Bowral. The couple married at St Paul's Anglican Church at Burwood, New South Wales, Burwood, Sydney on 30 April 1932. The two had an impeccable marriage and were devoted to each other. During their 65-year marriage, Jessie was "shrewd, reliable, selfless, and above all, uncomplicated...she was the perfect foil to his concentrated, and occasionally mercurial character". Bradman paid tribute to his wife numerous times, once saying succinctly, "I would never have achieved what I achieved without Jessie". The Bradmans lived in the same modest, suburban house in Holden Street, Kensington Park, South Australia, Kensington Park in Adelaide for all but the first three years of their married life. They experienced personal tragedy in raising their children: their first-born son died as an infant in 1936, their second son, John (born in 1939) contracted polio, and their daughter, Shirley, born in 1941, had cerebral palsy from birth. His family name proved a burden for John Bradman; he legally changed his last name to Bradsen in 1972. Although claims were made that he became estranged from his father, it was more a matter of "the pair inhabit[ing] different worlds", and the two remained in contact through the years. After the cricketer's death, a collection of personal letters written by Bradman to his close friend Rohan Rivett between 1953 and 1977 was released and gave researchers new insights into Bradman's family life, including the strain between father and son. Bradman's reclusiveness in later life is partly attributable to the ongoing health problems of his wife, particularly following the open-heart surgery Jessie underwent in her 60s.Williams (1996), p. 271. Lady Bradman died in 1997, aged 88, from cancer. This had a dispiriting effect on Bradman, but the relationship with his son improved, to the extent that John resolved to change his name back to Bradman. Since his father's death, John Bradman has become the spokesperson for the family and has been involved in defending the Bradman legacy in a number of disputes. The relationship between Bradman and his wider family is less clear, although nine months after Bradman's death, his nephew Paul Bradman criticised him as a "snob" and a "loner" who forgot his connections in Bowral and who failed to attend the funerals of Paul's mother and father. The operatic soprano Greta Bradman is his granddaughter.


In popular culture

Bradman's name has become an archetypal name for outstanding excellence, both within cricket and in the wider world. The term ''Bradmanesque'' has been coined and is used both within and outside cricketing circles. Steve Waugh described Sri Lanka national cricket team, Sri Lankan Muttiah Muralitharan as "the Don Bradman of bowling". Bradman has been the subject of more biographies than any other Australian, apart from the bushranger Ned Kelly. Bradman himself wrote four books: ''Don Bradman's Book–The Story of My Cricketing Life with Hints on Batting, Bowling and Fielding'' (1930), ''My Cricketing Life'' (1938), ''Farewell to Cricket'' (1950) and ''The Art of Cricket'' (1958). The story of the Bodyline series was retold in a Bodyline (miniseries), 1984 television mini-series, with Gary Sweet portraying Bradman. Bradman is immortalised in three popular songs from different eras, "Our Don Bradman" (1930s, by Jack O'Hagan), "Leaps and Bounds (song), Bradman" (1980s, by Paul Kelly (Australian musician), Paul Kelly), and "Sir Don", (a tribute by John Williamson (singer), John Williamson performed at Bradman's memorial service). Bradman recorded several songs accompanying himself and others on piano in the early 1930s, including "Every Day Is A Rainbow Day For Me", with Jack Lumsdaine. In 2000, the Australian Government made it illegal for the names of corporations to suggest a link to "Sir Donald Bradman", if such a link does not in fact exist. Other entities with similar protection are the Australian and foreign governments, Saint Mary MacKillop, the Royal Family and the Returned and Services League of Australia.


Bibliography

* ''How to Play Cricket'' (2013) by Don Bradman, Orient Paperbacks,


See also

* List of Test cricket records * ICC Player Rankings


References


Sources

* Baldwin, Mark (2005): ''The Ashes' Strangest Moments: Extraordinary But True Tales from Over a Century of the Ashes'', Franz Steiner Verlag. . * Bradman, Don (1950): ''Farewell to Cricket'', 1988 Pavilion Library reprint. . * Cashman, Richard et al. – editors (1996): ''The Oxford Companion to Australian Cricket'', Oxford University Press. . * Coleman, Robert (1993): ''Seasons in the Sun: the Story of the Victorian Cricket Association'', Hargreen Publishing Company. . * Davis, Charles (2000): ''The Best Of the Best: A New Look at the Great Cricketers and Changing Times'', ABC Books. . * Keith Dunstan, Dunstan, Keith (1988, rev. ed.): ''The Paddock That Grew'', Hutchinson Australia. . * Eason, Alan (2004): ''The A-Z of Bradman'', ABC Books. . * Jack Fingleton, Fingleton, Jack (1949): ''Brightly Fades the Don'', 1985 Pavilion Library reprint. . * David Frith, Frith, David (2002): ''Bodyline Autopsy'', ABC Books. . * Barry Gibbs (cricket), Gibbs, Barry (2001): ''My Cricket Journey'', Wakefield Press. . * Harte, Chris (1993): ''A History of Australian Cricket'', André Deutsch. . * Gideon Haigh, Haigh, Gideon. "Sir Donald Bradman at 100." ''The Monthly'', August 2008. * Haigh, Gideon (1993): ''The Cricket War – the Inside Story of Kerry Packer's World Series Cricket'', Text Publishing Company. . * Hutchins, Brett (2002): ''Don Bradman: Challenging the Myth'', Cambridge University Press. . * Bill O'Reilly (cricketer), O'Reilly, Bill (1985): ''Tiger – 60 Years of Cricket'', William Collins. . * Alan McGilvray, McGilvray, Alan & Tasker, Norman (1985): ''The Game Is Not the Same'', ABC Books. . * Page, Michael (1983): ''Bradman – The Illustrated Biography'', Macmillan Australia. . * Roland Perry, Perry, Roland (1995): ''The Don – A Biography of Sir Donald Bradman'', Macmillan. . * Ray Robinson (cricket writer), Robinson, Ray (1981 rev. ed.): ''On Top Down Under'', Cassell Australia. . * Irving Rosenwater, Rosenwater, Irving (1978): ''Sir Donald Bradman – A Biography'', Batsford. . * Wallace, Christine (2004): ''The Private Don'', Allen & Unwin. . * Richard Whitington, Whitington, RS (1974): ''The Book of Australian Test Cricket 1877–1974'', Wren Publishing. . * Charles Williams, Baron Williams of Elvel, Williams, Charles (1996): ''Bradman: An Australian Hero'', 2001 Abacus reprint. . * ''Wisden Cricketers' Almanack'': various editions, accessed vi
ESPN Cricinfo


External links

*
Bradman Museum and Bradman Oval


State Library of South Australia
The Bradman Trail

Don Bradman on Picture Australia

Interview with Bradman 1930


— Australian Broadcasting Corporation
Some images of Don Bradman, including some showing Don Bradman's batting technique
* Listen to a youn
Don Bradman speaking
after the 1930 Ashes tour o
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