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'Bradman said Indians are mad about the game'
April 20, 2005 14:42 IST
Cricket legend Donald Bradman always thought Indians were mad about cricket and rated them much ahead of the Australians in terms of passion for the game, a personal friend of 'The Don' said in Bangalore.
"He (Sir Bradman) always thought that Indian cricket is always played in right spirit. There is passion about the game. He felt that Australians were a little bit backward in expressions and appreciation," said Richard Mulvaney.
Mulvaney, the Director of the Bradman Museum and Bradman Foundation, added: "Sometimes, he was a little overcome with how effusive Indian people can be."
Bradman used to receive thousands of letters from India, where he had a huge fan following. The former Australian cricketer, who always found it difficult to talk about himself, answered all the letters.
"He saw it as his duty to respond. By responding, he believed he sent out a message that cricket is important and enthusiasm for the game should never die down."
Mulvaney quoted Bradman as saying: "Indians are mad about the game. Sometimes, I do think they are mad. But the unbriddled passion is infectious".
Bradman saw a "direct association" of himself with India's Sachin Tendulkar. "Not just the style of his (Tendulkar's) batting and the way he got runs, but his general demeanour on and off the field which reminded him of himself", Mulvaney said.
In 1947/48, Bradman was the captain of Australia when India played their first Test series against Australia, who won it 4-0. "Bradman was very touched by the warmth of the Indian players", he said.
Mulvaney is currently on a visit to India to establish an Indian Advisory Board to guide channelise the funds raised from the sale of "Bradman Cookies" in India towards development of cricket among underprivileged children.
Australian biscuit manufacturer UNIBIC has set up a plant in Bangalore and a percentage of the proceeds from the sale of Bradman cookies will go towards this.
"Bradman Foundation is a non-profit charitable trust. We are doing some good things in Australia. Now, we are mature enough to go beyond Australia", he said.
The Indian Advisory Board would help identify the needy for the funds to be raised.