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1948: The Famous Pull Shot

Bradman Facts

  Don Bradman played in 52 Test Matches for Australia. In his 80 times at bat (10 not out), he scored 6996 runs at the phenomenal average of  99.94.
The next  best average is 60.97 by Graeme Pollock of South Africa.
Bradman's highest score in first class cricket was 452 not out for New South Wales vs Queensland in Sydney in 1929-30.
His highest score in Test Matches was 334 against England at Headingley in 1930.
  In his whole first Class career, he scored 28 067 runs at an average of  95.14.

1930: Bradman scores 334

  In addition to his overall highest score of 452 not out, Don Bradman scored 5 triple centuries during his career. They included:
340* NSW vs Sth Aust  1928-29
334 Aust vs England 1930
304 Aust vs England 1934
357 Sth Aust vs Vic 1935-36
369 Sth Aust vs Tas 1935-36
  During his First Class career, Bradman also scored 31 double centuries.
Bradman scored an amazing 117 centuries in 295 innings during his phenomenal career.
  This represents a century every 2.8 innings. Absolutely amazing!
  The next best ratio of hundreds per innings by any other player is 5.8 (G. Hick).

1938: 4th Test at Leeds

Don Bradman is the only Australian player to have scored more than 100 centuries in first class cricket.
  Bradman achieved this feat in only 295 innings. The next quickest was D.C.S. Compton who needed 552 innings to score his 100th century.
Bradman is the only player to have scored 100 centuries in First Class cricket, without having played in English County cricket.
  Bradman scored six centuries in consecutive innings during the 1938-39 season. C.B. Fry (Sussex 1901) and M.J.  Proctor (Rhodesia 1970-71) are the only other players to have achieved this feat in First Class Cricket.
During his career, Bradman scored four centuries in succession on two occasions, 1931-32 and 1948-49.

1938: The Bradman stance

  Don Bradman scored more double centuries (31) in his career than any other batsman in First Class Cricket.
  Bradman also performed the unique feat of scoring 10 successive first class 50s during his career.
  Bradman once scored a century in minor cricket off only 22 balls faced.
Bradman was never recognised as a bowler of any note. However, he did capture 36 First Class wickets for 1367 runs at an average of 37.97.
  The great man scored a century in both innings of a First Class game on four occasions.
131 & 133 in 1928-29
124 & 225 in 1929-30
107 & 113 in 1937-38
132 & 127* in 1947-48

Bradman in full flight

Bradman not only scored a lot of runs in First Class cricket, but he also scored his runs quickly. In innings of 50 or more he scored at a rate of 42 runs per hour, 100 or more at 44 runs/hour, and in innings over 200 he increased his rate to 49 runs/hour.
Bradman's fastest First Class century took only 70 minutes. This was achieved in his innings of 369 for South Australia against Tasmania, during the 1935-36 season.
  His slowest century took 253 minutes when he and Bill Brown were successfully saving the Trent Bridge Test in 1938.
During his career, Bradman managed a slightly higher batting average when he was captain of the team. In Tests, he averaged 101.51 when captain compared with 98.69 as a player. In all First Class matches, he averaged 98.78 as captain compared with 91.57 as a player.
During his Test Match career, Bradman was never dismissed in the 90s. Once he reached 90, he always went on to score a century or more.

1998: The Don turns 90

  During his career, Don Bradman only played First Class cricket in two countries, Australia and England.
Bradman's average in the first innings of all Test matches in which he played was 97.85. His average in the second innings was 104.50. This statistic is quite amazing given that Bradman played on wickets that were uncovered !
In Bradman's final Test Match at The Oval in 1948, he only needed 4 runs to finish his Test career with an average of 100 or more.  Unfortunately, he was bowled second ball by Eric Hollies for cricket's most famous duck.
The following table indicates the number of Test centuries Bradman scored at the various cricket grounds in England and Australia.
     Melbourne  9
     Leeds  4
     Brisbane  4
     Nottingham  3
     Adelaide  3
     Lords  2
     The Oval  2
     Sydney  2
Bradman's effect on the result of any Test match was profound. In Test Matches that resulted in an Australian victory, he averaged 130.08. In drawn games, his average was 111.90 and in Test Matches that Australia lost, his average was 43.27.

1948: For the last time

On four occasions, Bradman scored a century in both innings of a First Class match.
  Bradman toured England four times, 1930, 1934, 1938 and 1948: the last two times as captain.
  Sir Donald is the only Australian cricketer to be knighted for services to cricket.
Bradman's grandfather was christened as "Bradman" instead of the more commonly used surname, "Bradnam."
Don's father, George, died aged 85 at Berrima, NSW, on 18th April, 1961 and his mother, Emily, died aged 73 at Campbelltown NSW, on December 16th 1944.

The Bradman smile


On Sunday morning 25th February 2001, Sir Donald Bradman died at his home in the Adelaide suburb of Kensington. It is believed that Sir Donald died peacefully in his sleep after a bout of pneumonia.

Sports Card World wishes to recognise Sir Donald as Australia's greatest ever sportsman. Bradman was a unique sporting phenomenon ! An athlete who stood so far above any other in his sport that his records, average and overall performance have never been equalled .... and probably never will be !

Donald George Bradman was born on 27th August 1908 in the western New South Wales town of Cootamundra. He was the fifth child of George and Emily Bradman who lived in Yeo Yeo, about 25 km from Cootamundra. When Don was two years of age, the family moved to a weatherboard house in Shepherd St, Bowral.

Don attended the Bowral School and from an early age displayed excellent sporting and coordination skills.

Because of a lack of any organized sport and a shortage of children in his neighbourhood, young Donald devised a game in his own backyard. It consisted of throwing a golf ball against the brick base of a water tank and hitting the ball with a cricket stump for a bat.

It was probably this simple game that honed his reflexes and developed the eye movement and coordination and that was to become the trademark of his fabulous cricket career.

Apart from school and backyard cricket, young Don had a particularly busy and active childhood. In addition to being a golf caddie, he learnt piano, attended choir practice and helped his father who was a carpenter and fencer. Don was an accomplished pianist who was taught by his sister, Lilian. It was the beginning of a life-long love of fine music.

As a teenager, he continued to be busy playing rugby, tennis, cricket and athletics. In 1923, he actually quit cricket for almost two seasons to play tennis.

At the age of 12, Don Bradman was asked to play for the Bowral High School senior eleven. In his second game, he scored his first century (115) on the oval that now bears his name. In this particular match, Don also took eight wickets.
On weekends, Don was scorer for the Bowral Senior X1 which included his father, brother and two uncles. On one occasion, the team was a player short and the young Bradman was invited to bat at the fall of the eighth wicket and scored 37 not out. In the return innings the next week, he scored 29 not out on the Glebe wicket. For his remarkable achievement, Don was given a bat by one of the senior team members. Don's father had to saw three inches off the bat so that the young Don could use it.

That season, Don begged his father to take him to the Sydney Cricket Ground to see the final Test between England and Australia. Bradman watched in awe as Charles McCarthy make 170. From that moment the young Bradman vowed that he would never be satisfied until he played cricket on the S.C.G.

Bradman circa 1927

Bradman left school in 1922 at the age of fourteen. He began work for Percy Westbrook as a clerk in a Bowral real estate agency. By the time he was seventeen, he was beginning to attract considerable attention in Sydney with his prodigious scoring. In 1926, Bradman scored 234 for Bowral against Wingello. One of the opposition bowlers was Bill "Tiger" O'Reilly who Bradman later described as, "The best bowler I ever faced."

In the final match of that season, Bradman scored his first triple century and the legend began to blossom.

On October 5th 1926, at the age of 18, Bradman was invited to attend NSW state training. He also agreed to play Sydney grade cricket for St. George providing the club paid his return train fare from Bowral. During this period, Don had to get up before 5 a.m. to catch the train to Sydney, often not getting home until midnight.
In 1927, Bradman was selected to play Sheffield Shield for NSW. In his first game of First Class cricket, the young Bradman scored 118 against South Australia on the Adelaide Oval. He became the 20th Australian to score a century on First Class debut. Now fondly referred to as "The Boy from Bowral," he left home in 1928 to live in Sydney.

Early portrait of Bradman wearing St. George cap

In November 1928, he scored 87 and 132 not out against the touring MCC side. A short time later, at the tender age of 20, Donald George Bradman was selected in the Australian Test team to play in the First Test against England in Brisbane.

Australia's team for Bradman's first test, 1928

Standing from the left; Bill Woodfull, Bill Ponsford, Bert Ironmonger, Don Blackie, Otto Northling, Stork Hendry. Seated (from the left) Vic Richardson, Clarrie Grimmett, Jack Ryder, Don Bradman, Bert Oldfield, Alan Kippax.

Bradman's first Test efforts were far from auspicious and Australia lost the match by a record 675 runs. Bradman scored 18 in the first innings and 1 in the second. For the first and only time during his career, Bradman was dropped to twelfth man for the second Test in Sydney. Recalled for the Third Test in Melbourne, Bradman clearly signalled his emerging greatness. With scores of 79 and 112, the MCG crowd recorded a tumultuous reception for the boy wonder from the bush. From this point, Bradman was to stamp his authority on World cricket for the next twenty years.

Nottingham 1948

Bradman in the nets

The Stance 1928 

The year 1930 signalled more incredible feats and elevated Bradman to a level not previously considered possible. In January, he made a World record score of 452 not out for NSW against Queensland at the SCG. The innings lasted 415 minutes and included 49 fours. Later in the year, he was chosen to make his first tour of England. Up until this point in time, the English players had been unimpressed with his deeds and they believed his unorthodox style would not be successful on the slower English wickets. 
Were they in for a surprise!

In his first First Class match on tour, Bradman scored 236 in a match against Worcester. This unleashed a furious onslaught against English bowlers that was to shake the English establishment to its very foundations. In the Test matches of 1930, Bradman scored 8, 131, 254, 1, 334, 14 and 232 - a total of 974 runs at an amazing average of 139.14.
Photo at right: Bradman and Archie Jackson at the Oval, 1930. The two young Australians put together a partnership of 243 on a rain affected wicket. Unfortunately Archie was to die soon after in January 1933.

During the entire 1930 English tour, Bradman scored almost 3000 runs at an average of 98.66. The innings of 334 at Headingley included 309 runs in a single day. This score is still the highest Test score by an Australian - a record shared with Mark Taylor who also scored 334 not out against Pakistan at Peshawar in the 2nd Test of the 1998/99 season.

Photo at Left: Bradman walks in after breaking the record score in Tests with 334 at Headingley in July 1930.

1930: Bradman salutes the crowd after passing 300 on his way to the record score of 334 at Headingley

Following his very successful English tour, Bradman played a Test series at home against the West Indies in 1930-31 and South Africa in 1931-32, and was even more devastating. His scores in all matches against South Africa  were 30, 135, 226, 219, 112, 2, 167, and 299 not out. 1190 runs at an average of 170!  In Tests, his average was over 200. This dispelled any thoughts that 1930 was just a flash in the pan.

Bradman's incredible feats in the early 1930s were of such a magnitude that the English team began to think of ways to curb Bradman's brilliance for the up-coming tour to Australia in 1932-33.     The result -Bodyline !

Douglas Jardine

Bodyline was arguably the darkest chapter in the history of Anglo-Australian cricket. The man behind the tactic was newly appointed England captain, Douglas Jardine. Educated at Winchester and Oxford, Jardine was all that was noble and proud in English cricket. Born in India of Scottish parents, Jardine was, however, a ruthless and aloof man who was single-minded in his will to win and curb the brilliance of Bradman.
During the 1930 Australian tour to England, Jardine believed that Bradman displayed a weakness against fast short pitched deliveries.

With this in mind, Jardine set packed leg-side fields and ordered his fastest bowlers, headed by Harold Larwood, to pitch the ball short and deliberately aim at the rib-cage of Bradman and other Australian batsmen. Larwood was a humble man who had come from the a working class background in the Lancashire mines. However, he was a professional cricketer and had no alternative but to follow his captain's instructions.
With the series tied at one all after the first two Tests, the controversy of Bodyline began to reach a crescendo during the third Test in Adelaide.

Harold Larwood

Australia's Bill Woodfull

Australian batsmen, Bill Woodfull (shown left) and Bert Oldfield were both injured as a direct result of the Bodyline tactics. When England's manager, Pelham Warner visited the Australian dressing room to offer his sympathy, Woodfull uttered the now famous words, "There are two teams out there on the Oval. One is playing cricket, the other is not!"
The Australian Board of Control sent an urgent telegram of complaint to the M.C.C. which threatened diplomatic relationships between the two countries and almost cancelled the remainder of the tour. A transcript of each telegram reads as follow:

From: Australian Cricket Board:   
January 1933
To: Marylebone Cricket Club
From: Marylebone Cracker Club:
January 1933
To: Australian Cricket Board

Bodyline-line bowling has assumed such proportions as to menace the best interests of the game, making  protection of the body by the batsmen the main consideration. 
This is causing intensely bitter feelings between the players as well as injury. In our opinion it is unsportsmanlike.
Unless stopped at once it is likely to upset the friendly relations existing between Australia and England.

We, Marylebone Cricket Club, deplore your cable. We deprecate your opinion that there has been unsportsmanlike play. We have fullest confidence in captain, team and managers and are convinced that they would do nothing to infringe either the Laws of Cricket or the spirit of the game. We have no evidence that our confidence has been misplaced. We hope the situation is not now as serious as your cable would seem to indicate, but if it is such as to jeopardize the good relations between English and Australian cricketers and you consider it desirable to cancel remainder of programme we would consent, but with great reluctance.

England went on to win the Ashes 4-1, and Bradman's brilliance was to some degree contained, although he still averaged 56.57 for the series. It is interesting to read the comments of some of the combatants and officials of the Bodyline Series.

"I condemn it absolutely. Bodyline is dangerous. I believe that only good luck was responsible for the fact that no-one was killed by Bodyline. I have had to face it, and I would have got out of the game had it been allowed to persist.

  English batsman, Wally Hammond.     

"There was to be bitterness that passes all understanding; angry words between men who were normally peaceful citizens and lovers of cricket. Cables were to pass which contained in them the dynamite that might, at any moment, blow into little pieces the great structure of international cricket. It all happened because of Bradman's genius."

A. G. Moyes, in his book Bradman.    

"Undoubtedly Bodyline was a reaction against the dominance of the bat over the ball, magnified by my own fortuitous 1930 season in England. Killing a patient is not the way to cure his disease."

Sir Donald Bradman, the target of Bodyline.    

"Only those who have played against Bodyline are capable of understanding its dangers. I do not know of any batsman who has played against fast bowling who is not of the opinion that it will kill cricket."

English fast bowler, Harold Larwood.    

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