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50 Interesting Facts About ‘The Don’ of Cricket - Sir Donald George Bradman

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The Don was a cricketer acknowledged by all as the greatest test batsman of all time. He denounced the hero worship and celebrity status that followed his fame.

A 1993 portrait of Sir Donald Bradman at his home in Adelaide.
(Photo : Tony Lewis/ALLSPORT) A 1993 portrait of Sir Donald Bradman at his home in Adelaide.
  1. According to former Australian cricketer Bill Woodfull, Bradman was ‘Worth Three Batsman to Australia,’ due to his consistency at highest level.
  2. Bradman has set a high standard of excellence as a batsman with an average of 99.94 in 52 tests.
  3. Australian Broadcasting Corporation has adopted his batting averages of 99.94, as their GPO Box Number. The GPO Box is 9994.
  4. He was born on August 27, 1908 in Cootamundra, New South Wales. His parents are of Italian descendent.
  5. He was the fifth child of George and Emily Bradman. His siblings are Victor, Islet, Lilian and Elizabeth May. His father was a fencer and carpenter
  6. Bradman did not have formal coaching. He invented his own solo cricket game with cricket stump and golf ball and practiced against curved brick water stand wall.
    Australian Cricket player Sir Donald (Don) Bradman batting on June 20, 1938 in Australia.
    (Photo : Newspix/Getty Images) Australian Cricket player Sir Donald (Don) Bradman batting on June 20, 1938 in Australia.
  7. He scored his first century, when playing for his school Bowral Public School against Mittagong High School. He scored 115 not out in a total of 156 runs.
  8. As 12 years old Bradman had a chance to play for local Bowral senior team, captained by his uncle, George Whatman. He remained not out scoring 37 and 29.
  9. In 1925-26 season as a regular for the Bowral team, he participated in the ‘Berrima District Competition.’ He scored 234 against Wingello and 320 not out against Moss Vale in the finals.
  10. Bradman apart from cricket had become proficient at tennis and played rugby for the school side and won the 100, 220, 440 and 880-yard races at his school sports.
  11. His performance during the season earned him a call up from ‘New South Wales Cricket Association’ on October 5, 1926. He had scored 1318 runs at an average of 94.14.
    A picture of Don Bradman, the legendary Australian cricketer, regarded as possibly the greatest batsman that ever lived.
    (Photo : Popperfoto/Getty Images) A picture of Don Bradman, the legendary Australian cricketer, regarded as possibly the greatest batsman that ever lived.
  12. Based on his performance in the ‘Country Week’ tournaments, Bradman was selected to play grade cricket for ‘St. George Cricket Club’ for the 1926-27 season.
  13. Bradman have to undergo a arduous journey of 130 kilometers every match day to play for St. George. He scored 110 runs on his debut.
  14. As 19 years old Bradman made his first class debut for NSW against South Australia and scored 118 runs. Known as ‘The Boy from Bowral’ Bradman became the 20th Australian to score century on first class debut.
  15. In the 1928-29 ‘Sheffield Shield’ season, Bradman moved his base to Sydney and scored a century in both an innings against Queensland.
  16. Bradman scored 87 and 132 not out against touring England team and was drafted in to Australian test team for the first test against England to be played at Brisbane.
  17. Bradman scored 18 and 1 in his first test match. Australia lost the match by 675, still a record till date.
  18. Bradman became the youngest to score a century at that time, when he made 79 and 112 in the third test against England at Melbourne Cricket Ground.
  19. On January 03, 1930 Bradman scored 452 not out against Queensland in a Sheffield Shield match. A world record then for first class match.
  20. Bradman during the Ashes series tour of England in 1930 became the fifth player and first Australian player to score 1000 runs before end of May.
  21. On July 11, 1930 in the third test at Leeds Bradman remained 105 not out at lunch. By scoring a century before lunch on the first day of the test, became the first Australian to do so.
  22. When Bradman scored 309 not out in a single days play in the third test at Leeds, he became the only test player in the world to do so. His final score of 334 was a world record then.
  23. Bradman’s tally of 974 runs at an average of 139.14 in the 1930 Ashes Series is a record till date. He also scored three double centuries in the series.
  24. Bradman became a national hero after his heroics in the 1930 Ashes series. He was accorded warm reception in Adelaide, Melbourne, Goulburn, Bowral and Sydney. He received brand new custom built Chevrolet.
    Retired Australian captain Don Bradman makes his way onto the MCG in 1948 for his testimonial match in Melbourne, Australia.
    (Photo : Newspix/Getty Images) Retired Australian captain Don Bradman makes his way onto the MCG in 1948 for his testimonial match in Melbourne, Australia.
  25. Bradman’s machine like approach to batting with his sort of cynical grin was described by The South African fast bowler Sandy Bell, bowling to him is ‘Heart Breaking’ and never seems to perspire.
  26. Bradman was fined 50 pounds, when some part of the book was published by the London Daily Star while the Australians were still in England. As per the Australian Board it was breach of clause 11.
  27. To compensate Bradman from turning professional, He was offered two years contract to write for Associate Newspaper, Radio broadcast on 2UE and for promotion of FJ Palmer and Son menswear. As a professional cricketer, he will not be eligible to play test cricket.
  28. On April 1932, he married his childhood friend Jessie Menzies at St. Paul’s Church, Burwood.
  29. Bradman withdrew from Sydney test match against England in the 1932-33 series due to indisposition amid rumours that he suffered nervous breakdown. He felt the Bodyline tactics employed by the English was brewing trouble.
  30. In the second test of the Bodyline series, Bradman scored counter attacking century in the second innings which laid the foundation for Australia’s series leveling victory. He was out for duck of the first ball in the first innings.
    Australian cricketer Donald Bradman (1908 - 2001) at a press conference at the Hilton Hotel, London.
    (Photo : Central Press/Getty Images) Australian cricketer Donald Bradman (1908 - 2001) at a press conference at the Hilton Hotel, London.
  31. In February 1934, Bradman moved to Adelaide as a stockbroker and was appointed as captained of South Australian cricket team for the domestic tournament.
  32. Bradman was made the vice captain for the tour of 1934 England series. During the tour, he played 13 first class innings without scoring a century, a rare lean patch for his standard.
  33. In the fifth test match of the 1934 series, Bradman and Ponsford were associated in a world record partnership of 451 runs, which lasted for over 57 years.
  34. At the end of the England tour, Bradman was operated for acute appendicitis. His recovery was slow and took several months to return to Australia. He missed 1934-35 Australian season.
  35. Bradman skipped the 1935 tour of South Africa and led the South Australian team to its first ‘Sheffield Shield’ title.
  36. In October 1936 before the Ashes series, Bradman took time out of cricket for two weeks after the death of his first child a day after its birth.
  37. Battling influenza, his innings of 270 of 375 balls in partnership with Jack Fingleton, in the third test at Melbourne set the foundation for Australia’s victory. In 2001 The Wisden rated this knock as the best test match innings of all times.
  38. Bradman led Australia to series victory over England in the 1936-37 Ashes after losing the first two test matches. A performance which has never been repeated in the test cricket.
  39. In the 1938 tour of England, Bradman scored 13 centuries in 26 innings for a new Australian record. He also completed 1000 runs before May to become the only player to do so twice.
  40. In 1938-39 Sheffield Shield matches playing for South Australia, Bradman scored six consecutive centuries to equal the record of CB Fry.
  41. During the Second World War, Bradman joined the ‘Royal Australian Air Force’ on June 28, 1940, before transferring to Army.
    Sir Donald George Bradman, 1908 – 2001, Often Referred To As The Don. Australian Cricketer, Widely Acknowledged As The Greatest Batsman Of All Time. From The Story Of 25 Eventful Years In Pictures, Published 1935.
    (Photo : Universal History Archive/UIG via Getty Images) Sir Donald George Bradman, 1908 – 2001, Often Referred To As The Don. Australian Cricketer, Widely Acknowledged As The Greatest Batsman Of All Time. From The Story Of 25 Eventful Years In Pictures, Published 1935.
  42. In June 1941 he was invalid from service due to his chronic muscular problem diagnosed as fibrositis. . Later he permanently lost the sensation in his right index finger and thumb. It was also revealed that he had poor eyesight.
  43. When the stock broking firm ‘H.W Hodgetts’ collapsed in June 1945, Bradman was accused of underarm dealing. Unfortunately this accusation by the Newspaper was published after Bradman’s death.
  44. Post world war in the 1946-47 Ashes series, Bradman led the Australian team to 3-0 series win. He was the leading scorer with an average of 97.14, in spite of poor health.
  45. During the India’s tour of Australia in 1947-48, playing for Australian XI Bradman made 172. It was his 100th first class century. He is the first and the only Australian to do so.
  46. Bradman was denied the elusive four runs in his final innings resulting in his average finishing at 99.94. He had scored 6,996 run in 52 test matches with 29 centuries and 13 fifties.
    Sir Donald Bradman, Adelaide Oval December 1974
    (Photo : Patrick Eagar/Patrick Eagar Collection via Getty Images) Sir Donald Bradman, Adelaide Oval December 1974
  47. Bradman is the only Australian cricketer to be knighted. In 1949 New Year Honor, he was appointed ‘Knight Bachelor,’ for his service to the game.
  48. On June 16, 1979, Bradman awarded the nation’s second highest civilian honor, ‘Companion of the Order of Australia,’ for his service to sport of cricket and administration.
  49. On his 90th birthday he hosted a meeting with Sachin Tendulkar and Shane Warne. He was so impressed with Sachin’s batting; that he never missed a innings of his.
  50. The Australian government recognized him by minting a 20 cents coin in his honor after his death. He was the first living Australian to be featured on the Australian postage stamp.

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