Sir Donald George Bradman, AC (27 August 1908 – 25 February 2001), often referred to as The Don, is widely acknowledged as the greatest batsman of all time.
Bradman's career Test batting average of 99.94 has been claimed to be statistically the greatest achievement in any major sport. He retired in 1948 and even now, his batting average of 99.94 looks like a misprint. Not only is it probably the most famous number in a sport obsessed by numbers, but it is nearly 40 runs better than the next batsman on the list to have batted more than 20 times in Test cricket. It could be said that it is the most remarkable sporting outlier of them all.
The story that the young Bradman practised alone with a cricket stump and a golf ball is part of Australian folklore.Bradman's meteoric rise from bush cricket to the Australian Test team took just over two years.
Before his 22nd birthday, he had set many records for high scoring, some of which still stand, and became Australia's sporting idol at the height of the Great Depression.During a 20-year playing career, Bradman consistently scored at a level that made him, in the words of former Australia captain Bill Woodfull, "worth three batsmen to Australia".
The controversial Bodyline tactic was specifically devised by England's skipper Douglas Jardine and executed by Harold Larwood to curb his scoring in the 1932/33 Ashes series. This had the desired effect of reducing his batting average for the series to 56.
In the 1934 Ashes series, normal service resumed. At the end of the first day of the Leeds Test he declined an invitation to dinner from writer Neville Cardus, saying that he wanted an early night because the team needed him to make a double century. Cardus pointed out that his previous innings on the ground was 334, and the law of averages was against another such score. Bradman told Cardus, "I don't believe in the law of averages", and subsequently scored 304.
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 team-mates, 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.
Bradman made the then record of 29 Test centuries. Remarkably, he was only dismissed 13 times between 50 and 100. Hence having reached 50, Bradman was more than twice as likely to make a century as not. No-one has ever matched this.
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—more than 50 years after his retirement as a Test player, in 2001, the Australian Prime Minister John Howard called him the "greatest living Australian".
|5 wickets in innings||0||0|
|10 wickets in match||0||0|
|from around the world|