Ask any cricket fan who they consider the best batsman ever and most of them will tell you that Don Bradman is definitely up there. Bradman passed away in 2001 but his passion for cricket and the skill he brought to the pitch is not something that is easily forgotten by fans – who still talk of his talent today.
The Don Bradman Early Days
Don Bradman only came from humble beginnings, but the cricket player (born in 1908) carved out an incredible cricket career for himself. Even today his batting average of 99.94 is unbeaten and a record that many professional cricket players would love to smash.
Bradman was born in a small town in New South Wales, Australia and had a love for cricket right from a young age. The town only created an oval a year after he was born, so it was a popular place for locals to spend their time and a place where Don felt at home. He didn’t waste any time developing his record-making cricket skills and even as a teenager he started to break local and district cricket records. The Oval in Bowral still exists today, the town saved up enough money to buy it and today it is known as the Bradman Oval, a respectful nod to the man that did so much for their town.
Australia Develops a Love for Cricket
We know that Australia has a real love for cricket but this really started to kick off at the start of the 20th century. During this time towns and cities started to build cricket clubs and put together teams – often with family members from different generations making up the team list. At this time people loved to play the game, even if they didn’t necessarily have the right equipment to be able to play properly. For example, Bradman talked of his early practice days where he would stand on a rainwater tank with a golf ball and a cricket stump in order to practise his batting skills. He may not have had the most professional equipment but practising in this way helped him to develop his hand and eye coordination which would have helped him later down the line with his record-breaking professional cricket career.
Starting His Professional Career
If you went to a live cricket match today you are likely to know in advance who will be playing and who you can expect to see on the pitch. However, one day Don was at Glebe Park in his hometown simply keeping score for the game. Late in the day, he was asked to bat as the team was short a player – he made 37 runs and the rest is history. He went on to play the next week with 29 runs and was rewarded with his own second-hand bat. Over the next 5 seasons for the team, he scored hundreds of runs and broke numerous records – and the rest they say is history as he went on to have an incredible cricket career.