Don Bradman

(1908—2001) Australian cricketer

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Australian cricket captain and leading batsman of the 1930s and 1940s. He never lost a test series for his country and was knighted (1949) after a brilliant career that brought him 117 centuries, 29 of them in test matches (average 99.94).

Born at Cootamundra, New South Wales, Bradman grew up at Bowral and attended the Intermediate High School there. From 1927 to 1934 he played for New South Wales, scoring a century on his Sheffield Shield debut for that state, and after that for South Australia (1935–49). He played for Australia from 1928 until his retirement in 1948, captaining the team from 1936.

Bradman's prodigious scoring made him the most famous cricketer in the world. On his first tour of England (1930) he averaged 98.66 runs, his 334 at Leeds being the highest score for Australia in test matches against England. His innings topped 300 half a dozen times during his career and on one occasion he made 452 not out. In all he scored 28 067 runs at an extraordinary average of 95.14. His powers of concentration were unrivalled. Toiling bowlers despaired and argued, unfairly, that his style was mechanical. As a test captain he was astute and unyielding. When he retired he became a selector and respected cricket administrator – and a successful stockbroker.

Subjects: Australasian and Pacific History.

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