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Don Bradman, The Don’s 110th Birthday

Donald George Bradman, an Australian international cricketer was fondly called ‘The Don’ is known as the greatest batsman of all time. His greatest achievement of batting average in test series is 99.94% which is Bradman’s test batting average of 99.94 is the greatest achievement any sportsman in any major sport.

Bradman was born on 27 August 1908 in Cootamundra, New South Wales to a family of English descent. The family moved to Bowral, New South Wales shortly after his birth. His father was a carpenter who built a small house opposite a cricket ground. Bradman practiced batting there diligently during his youth. He invented his own solo cricket game using a cricket stump for a bat and a golf ball. His own unique method of practice sharpened his timing and hand-eye coordination. At a formal cricket game, he hit his first century at the age of 12 and this was a major turning point for him as it kick-started his career.

Bradman propelled himself from bush cricket to the Australian Test team in just two years. During this period he almost gave up cricket in favor of tennis, but his passion for the game held him steady. He started playing for the country at the age of 19. Test debut at the age of 19. Before his 22nd birthday, he broke many records for top scoring and set new ones, some of which still stand, and became the face of Australian sports by the time of the Great Depression.
During a two decade playing career from 1928 to 1948, Bradman consistently scored at a level that made him a force to be reckoned with. A set of tactics known as Bodyline was devised by the English team to put him down but that did not break his resolve. He continued to break records and set standards. As a captain and administrator, Bradman highly stressed on discipline and commitment to the sport. He drew spectators in record numbers. The Second World War briefly stopped his playing streak following which he made an explosive comeback captaining an Australian team known as “The Invincibles” and they proved to be undefeatable.

Even after he retired, Don was at an honorary position as a selector and an administrator for a long time. Even after choosing to live a quiet life, his opinion was still sought by many and his status as a national icon remained intact. Bradman’s picture has appeared on postage stamps and coins, and a museum dedicated to his life was opened while he was still living. On August 27 2008, the 100th anniversary of his birth, the Royal Australian Mint issued a $5 commemorative gold coin with his image. In 2009, he was inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame. On August 27 2018, Bradman was honoured with a Google Doodle to celebrate his 110th birth anniversary.

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