10 facts about Sir Don Bradman on his 110th anniversary
Sir Don Bradman remains the only Australian cricketer to have been knighted for his services
It has been more than 70 years since Sir Donald George Bradman played his last Test match and 18 years since he breathed his last, but he still continues to be the most revered figure in the cricketing world. His influence on the gentleman’s game has remained undiminished despite the years having gone since his passing away in 2002.
Born on 27 August 1908, Bradman made his Test debut at 20 against England at Brisbane. He made a modest 18 in the first innings as the hosts collapsed for 122 and added just one run in Australia’s second innings, which folded up for a mere 66 as England romped home to a 675-run win.
Dropped for the second Test, the world got a good look at Bradman’s batting prowess in the third Test of that Ashes series as he notched up 79 runs in the first innings, before scoring 112 in the second at Melbourne. The hundred made the 20-year-old the youngest centurion in Test cricket. And that would prove to be just the beginning of a plethora of records that Bradman would go on to make his own, over a distinguished 18-year-old career.
Some of the cricketing records that he notched up still remain out of bounds. Here are 10 facts about the Australian great on his 110th birth anniversary.
1. Bradman’s Test cricket average of 99.94 is unlikely to be broken. To compare, no one has scored at a rate of more than 62 runs per innings (minimum 20 Tests). Bradman’s first-class average of 95.14 is also unlikely to be touched.
2. In the 1948 Ashes tour of England, Australia remained undefeated in 31 first-class matches. Led by their talismanic captain, the team came to be known as “The Invincibles”.
3. No one has come close to matching Bradman’s batting rate of 961 in Test matches.
4. The Australian great holds the record for the most hundreds scored in a single session of play with six. He scored one hundred pre-lunch, two between lunch and tea, and three came between tea and stumps.
5. Bradman’s proclivity to notch up big hundreds saw him score 12 double hundreds (Kumar Sangakkara comes second in the all-time list with 11) and two triple centuries (tied with Brian Lara, Chris Gayle and Virender Sehwag).
6. In his 52-Test career, The Don amassed 6,996 runs. He still remains the fastest to reach each of the 1000-run milestones. It took him only seven matches to reach his first 1000 runs, 15 to 2000, 23 to 3000, 31 to 4000, 36 to 5000, and 45 to 6000 Test runs.
7. Bradman remains the only Australian cricketer to have been knighted for his services, an honour he received just a year after his retirement in 1948.
8. The much-loved Australian was the first from his country to be honoured with a postage stamp while he was still alive.
9. Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s GPO box number is 9994, as a tribute to the world’s greatest batsman’s Test average.
10. In 1986, when former Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser met Nelson Mandela, who was in the 22nd year of his 27-year confinement at Cape Town’s Pollsmoor Prison, the legendary South African anti- apartheid revolutionary asked his visitor: “Tell me, Mr Fraser, is Donald Bradman still alive?”