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February 26, 2001

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Don Bradman passes away

Death dealt a cruel blow to cricket and all its fans on Sunday when the Don of the 22-yard strip, a batsman who had rarely, if ever, been dismissed in the so-called nervous 90s, was declared out at 92.

Sir Donald George Bradman, the legendary Australian who is considered, without argument, the greatest batsman ever to grace the game, died at his Adelaide home of old age.

The legend is survived by son John, daughter Shirley and grandchildren Greta, Tom and Nicholas. His wife of 65 years, Jessie Menzies, died in 1997.

Sir Don had suffered a bout of pneumonia before Christmas and was hospitalised for a short period. Since then he had been keeping poor health.

"I can confirm that Sir Donald Bradman passed away at his home yesterday," Richard Mulvaney of the Bradman Museum in Sydney told reporters. "I believe he died peacefully in his sleep and his family were there not long after."

Bradman, who retired in 1948 with 6,996 runs in 52 Tests for the stunning average of 99.94 -- which experts say will never be equalled, let alone surpassed -- was born at Cootamundra in southern New South Wales on August 27, 1908. He grew up in the southern highlands town of Bowral, about 100km southwest of Sydney.

John Bradman said that in accordance with his father's wishes, a private funeral service and cremation would be held in Adelaide over the next few days, followed several weeks later by a public memorial service, also in Adelaide.

Bradman said his father had also asked that instead of sending flowers, mourners should send donations to the Bradman Foundation in Bowral for a special Bradman Memorial Fund.

In Canberra, Prime Minister John Howard said he had visited the Don just a week ago in Adelaide. "It was always going to be a shock when Don Bradman died because he has really been the most dominant figure in Australian life now for decades," he told Australian Broadcasting Corporation radio.

"He was very ill, I saw him last Friday week. I paid a special visit to Adelaide to see him and I knew he was in very poor health."

Howard spoke to John Bradman on Monday to express sympathy on behalf of all Australians. "And send our love to the Bradman family and record the appreciation of the Australian people for a wonderful life which not only gave this country and the world the greatest cricketer but, according to many people who compare these things, perhaps the greatest sportsman in 100 years."

'I am sure he is in a happy place now'

The boy from Bowral

Genesis -- the making of a Don!
'I dearly wanted to do well...'
'I'm honoured,' says Bradman
The last hurrah...
Tendulkar, Warne toast Bradman on 90th birthday
The most famous duck in history
Bradman marches to Bombay
Wish the Don...

Bradman passes away
Passing of a legend
Funeral to be a private affair
Australia mourns the Don
Don embodied Aussie ideals: Benaud
The most formidable cricketer to ever picked up a bat
Poetry and Murder: Don's near century of the best
Bowral boy at the heart of a noble man
It's Don's Day today: can it be forever?
Don Bradman: The Times, London, obituary
Don: Slide show from the Sydney Morning Herald
Don: Another slide show from the Sydney Morning Herald


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