Remembering the Colossal Titch on his 108th Birthday – Born on 27th August, 1908 in New South Wales, Sir Donald George Bradman was Colossus in terms of personality in a small body frame. More than 6 decades after his retirement the name ‘Don Bradman‘ stays fresh in every Cricket lover’s mind. He was a genius, out of the ordinary run of batsmen, played his cricket with great ease, never suffered nerves and is considered the ‘Greatest Of All Time’ thus.
Don made his Test debut for Australia in the year 1928 vs England at Brisbane, in the 1st Test match(timeless test match) of that year’s Ashes and had scored only (18,1) runs. England had defeated Australia by 675 runs. Scorecard A couple of innings following that, he crossed the 50 batting average mark and it stayed above 50 for the rest of his career.
3 years subsequent to his Test debut, Bradman found another way to silence his critics who always claimed that he congregated runs. On 2nd November 1931, he and his New South Wales team-mate Wendell Bill joined the Blackheath XI as two big names to play against neighbouring team Lithgow XI at Blue Mountains town of Blackheath. They travelled 113 kms from Sydney, to lay the corner stone of the new Blackheath malthoid wicket. Bradman went on to score 256 runs on the concrete pitch, which included 14 sixes and 29 fours and a century off just 22 deliveries. Yes, 3 overs(eight balls per over) which took roughly 18 minutes to score 100 runs. This happened midway through his innings when Lithgow’s bowler Bill Black came in with the ball. It was when Lithgow’s wicketkeeper told Bradman, during their casual chat, that Black was the same bloke who had bowled him out for 52 in an exhibition match a few weeks prior to that match. Bradman had reportedly sauntered down the pitch to his partner Wendell Bill and said ‘I think I’ll have a go’. In the next 3 overs his statement had evidently come true as he scored exactly 100 runs off them, and the scoring pattern read as-
1st over: 6, 6, 4, 2, 4, 4, 6, 1: 33 runs off Black.
2nd over: 6, 4, 4, 6, 6, 4, 6, 4: 40 runs off Horrie Baker.
3rd over: 1, 6, 6, 1, 1, 4, 4, 6: 27 runs(off Black) to Bradman and two to Wendell Bill (singles of the first and fifth balls).
Wendell Bill scored 66 while Blackheath scored 357, and Lithgow 228. A pretty good crowd had gathered to witness the match and “little boys were to be seen scurrying amongst the bordering pines; competing for the honor of retrieving the ball.” Bradman later wrote, “It is important I think to emphasize that the thing was not planned. It happened purely by accident and everyone was surprised at the outcome, none more so than I.” At the conclusion of the match Blackheath’s Mayor Peter Sutton asked if he could have the bat as a memento. Bradman presented it to the Mayor on Jan 19 of the following year.
The innings was non-Bradman like as we can safely say that he played nonchalantly, what critics say he was incapable of. During the couple of decades of his test career, Bradman scored 6996 runs at a record average of 99.94 which remains unparalleled till date.
To commemorate the prodigious average the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s (ABC) mailing address in every capital city of Australia is Post Box number 9994. It was proposed by Sir Charles Moses, who headed the ABC.