Sir Donald George Bradman (1908 - 2001)

Career Notes:

1908: Born at Cootamundra, in the outback, some 200 miles from Sydney. He was the youngest of five children.

1911: Family moved to Bowral, in the southern highlands of NSW and nearer to Sydney. He was then aged two.

1919: Although he appears not to have played in a formal cricket match until he was ten -- when he scored 55 not out.

1920: At 11, he scored his first hundred - for the Bowral School against the Mittagong school.

1921: At 12, he witnessed his first Test match - at the Sydney Cricket Ground when Australia beat England by nine wickets to win the series five-nil.

1922: At 13, he played his first club match for Bowral; he was the scorer for the match and was drafted into the team when a player did not turn up. He scored 37 and 29 - both times being not out.

1923: During this period he was also a promising tennis player, and for a while was undecided as to which game to pursue.

1924-25: His 66 for Bowral against Wingello finally made him decide as to which sport to pursue - perhaps cricket's gain was tennis' loss.

1925-26: At 17, his career really got under way. He scored his first double-hundred - 234 - for Bowral against Wingello. The opposition had a bowler called - Bill "Tiger" O'Reilly.
Bradman's other scores during the season were: 105, 120 and 300 (against Moss Vale) before his name was mentioned for the first time in the Sydney press.

1926-27: At 18, he was invited to a junior trial at the Sydney Cricket Ground - scored 37 not out.
He was also invited to play in the Sydney Country Week matches for both cricket and tennis. However since his employers could spare him for just one week - he choose cricket.
During the season he also appeared in first-grade cricket for the first time - for the St. George Club. He scored 110, at a run a minute, in his very first match.
Based on his performances for the Club, he was picked for the New South Wales second XI against Victoria - he scored 43.

1927-28: At 19, he was seen as one of the most promising player in the State. Although he began the season with some modest scores, he forced his way into selectors' attention with two hundreds - one for St. George and one for a combined St George/University side.
When two players dropped out of the NSW team he was selected for his first first-class match - against South Australia at Adelaide. He made 118 in 188 minutes. Thus began a career which perhaps was the greatest in the annals of any sport.
Although he did not maintain this excellent start, he finished his maiden season with another hundred - 134 not out against Victoria at Sydney.

1928-29: At 20, he failed in the Test Trial - for the Rest of Australia at Melbourne scoring 14 an 5. But with three hundreds in his next four innings, including a 132 against the touring MCC, secured him a place in the Australian side for the first Test at Brisbane.
The Test proved to be a disaster for Australia - they lost by the biggest margin in Test history - by 675 runs! Bradman scored just 18 & 1.
For the only time in his career he was made the 12th man for the next Test at Melbourne, which again the home team lost - by 8 wickets.
Restored to the team, he made hundreds (112 and 123 both at Melbourne) in the third and fifth Tests, and was never dropped, when fit.
During the season he scored his first of his six triple hundreds - an unbeaten 340 in 488 minutes against Victoria.
In all he scored seven hundreds and his aggregate of 1690 runs (avg. 93.88) in 13 matches was and still remains a record for an Australian season.

1929-30: At 21, he set a new world record by scoring an unbeaten 452 (in 415 minutes) for NSW against Queensland at Sydney (it remained a record until 1958-59, when Hanif Mohammad made 499).

1930: Selected to tour England - his first of his career, he broke almost every relevant record during the tour. He began with scores of 236 and 185 against Worcestershire and Leicestershire respectively.
His 334 against England at Leeds was then the highest ever Test innings. During his knock he scored 309 runs on the first day, including a hundred before lunch.
His 974 runs (avg. 139.14) still remains a record for a Test series. His 2960 runs (avg. 98.66) with ten scores over hundred was the maximum made by any visiting batsman while on tour. His other Test scores were 254 at Lord's (which he considers his best) and 232 at the Oval.

1930-31: At 22, he was now a hero in Australian sporting circles. He also started receiving a good deal of commercial success through advertisements etc.
Despite his other activities away from cricket he still managed to score 1422 runs (avg. 79.00) with five hundreds during the season. He scored two big hundreds against the West Indies in the Test series.

1931-32: He began the season with a duck against Queensland but by the end of the season he had aggregated 1403 runs (avg. 116.91) with seven hundreds.
His form in the Test series against South Africa was awesome - 806 runs (avg. 201.50) which included four hundreds. He missed a triple hundred by one run in the Adelaide Test match when he was left unbeaten on 299!

1932-33: The season more known for its in-famous Bodyline Test series saw for the first time Bradman's 100-plus average being cut down to half. The Englishmen led by Douglas Jardine succeeded in their newly devised tactics as Bradman's average for the Ashes series was 56.57 while scoring 396 runs in four Test matches.
However he managed to score 1171 runs (avg. 61.63) during the season. He recorded a customary double-hundred - 238 against Victoria at Sydney.

1933-34: In his last season for NSW he achieved the highest Sheffield average ever made - 184.40 - when he aggregated 922 runs. He finished the season with scores of 187 & 77; 253 and 128.

1934: At 25, he made his second tour of England. He was in poor health when the team left Australia. But began with a 206 against Worcestershire. After a series of low scores he made 160 against Middlesex at Lord's. After this innings he encountered his longest spell without making a hundred - thirteen innings! However he regained form in the Test matches by scoring - 304 (his second Test triple hundred) at Leeds and 244 in the next Test at the Oval. Considering his general health he still scored 758 runs (avg. 94.75) in the five Tests. In 22 first-class games he made 2020 runs (avg. 84.16) with seven hundreds.

1934-35: A prompt operation to his appendicitis, which had been troubling him during the England tour nearly saved his life as complications had set in.
He was to play for South Australia since he had taken up a business appointment in Adelaide. However he missed the entire season since his convalescence was prolonged after the operation.

1935-36: He soon established himself with South Australia by scoring two triple hundreds during the season - 357 against Victoria and 369 at Tasmania.
He did not tour South Africa due health reasons - the only full tour he missed during his Test career.

1936-37: He was made captain of Australia for the first time. In the first two Tests his form failed and his team were down by two Test matches against England. However his 270 in the third Test at Melbourne changed the fortunes of the series as Australia became the first team in Test history to comeback and win a series 3-2 after losing the first two. In the Test series he scored 810 runs (avg. 90.00) with three hundreds - still the maximum runs scored by a captain in a series. His aggregate for the season was 1552 runs (avg. 86.22).

1937-38: He passed the 1000-run mark for the ninth successive season in which he played - 1437 runs (avg. 91.25) with seven hundreds.

1938: He made his third tour of England, his first as captain. For the third successive tour he began with a double hundred (258) against Worcestershire. Before the first Test he made 278 against MCC at Lord's and followed this with scores of 143 and 145 against Surrey and Hampshire. In all he made 434 runs (avg.108.50) in four Test matches. In the last Test match at the Oval when England scored a record 903 runs he could not bat in either innings due to an ankle injury. He finished the tour with 2429 runs (avg. 115.66) in 20 matches with 13 hundreds - the maximum he has scored in a season.

1938-39: He began the season by scoring six hundreds in succession, which equalled the first-class record set by Englishman CB Fry in 1901.

1939-40: For the first and only time in his career he scored over 1000 runs in a Sheffield Shield season - 1062 runs (avg. 132.75). In June 1940, then aged 31, he enlisted in the RAAF Reserve during the second World War. But was transferred to the Army as a Physical Training instructor. Interestingly the doctors, found his eyesight distinctly defective!

1940-41: He was soon invalided out of the Army not only for his defective eyesight but he was beginning to suffer from fibrositis, which was to plague him for the next five years.
Due to the War no Sheffield Shield matches were played, although he appeared in two first-class matches and had scores of 0 & 6 and 0 & 12 - just 18 runs (avg. 4.50) - the worst season of his first-class career.

1940-1945: He did not appear in any matches during the War.

1945-46: He turned out in two matches during the season. Against an Australian Services XI he made 112 - his first first-class century in five years.

1946-47: At the age 38, he bagan the Test series against England with a 187 at Brisbane and followed this with a 234 in the next Test at Sydney, when he SG Barnes put on a record 405 for the fifth wicket. He headed the Australian batting averages for both Tests (680 runs) and first-class matches (1032 runs).

1947-48: In what was to be his last full season in Australia, Bradman struck great form. The hapless Indian team touring Australia for the first time was at the receiving end. He scored 715 runs (avg. 178.75) in the Test series with a highest of 201 at Adelaide. For the first and only time in his Test career he scored two separate hundreds in a same match - 132 and 127 not out at Melbourne. Once again he finished the season with 1296 runs (avg. 129.60) with 8 hundreds - the maximum hundreds he has scored in a season in Australia. During the season he also became the first non-Englishman to score his hundredth first-class hundred.

1948: Aged 29, Bradman made his last tour of England. Arguably, the greatest Test side ever, the team was the first to tour England without suffering a defeat. In the five Test matches in the series he scored 508 runs (avg. 72.57) with two hundreds. His last Test hundred, the 29th of his career, was an unbeaten 173 at Leeds, which enabled his team beat England by seven wickets after being set to score 404 runs in 344 minutes on a pitch taking spin. He had put on 301 runs for the second wicket in 217 minutes with Arthur Morris.
Playing the last Test match of his career at the Oval, Bradman was bowled second ball by a leg-spinner from Eric Hollies for a duck; when four runs would have taken his aggregate to 7000 and his career average to 100.
During the tour he amassed 2428 runs (avg. 89.92) with 11 hundreds.
He announced his retirement for international cricket during the tour.

1948-49: He played three more first-class matches during the season before retiring from all forms of cricket. He scored his last first-class hundred - 123 - his 117th of his career - in his own testimonial match at Melbourne for a DG Bradman XI. This match produced receipts of over 9000.00.
His final first-class match was in the Sheffield Shield competition for South Australia against Victoria at Adelaide - he scored a modest 30 runs. In the second innings he could not bat due a leg injury he had sustained while fielding.
At the time of retirement he was 40 years and seven months old.

1962-63: The only time he appeared out on the field after his retirement was when he made a short appearance for the Australian Prime Minister XI against the MCC at Canberra in a one-day match (on February 6, 1963). However to the disappointment of a large crowd he received only five balls before playing on to England pace bowler Brian Statham.

* He received a knighthood in the 1949 New Year's Honours List.
* He was a Test selector from 1936 to 1971.
* From 1945 to 1972 he was the South Australian Cricket Association (SACA) member in the Australian Cricket Board (ACB).
* In 1958, MCC conferred on him its life membership and in 1988 this honour was extended to an honorary vice-presidency of the club - in recognition of his unique contribution to the game of cricket.
* From 1950 to 1965 he was vice-president of SACA and from 1966 to 1973 its president.
* From 1960 to 1963 he was the chairman of the ACB.
* In 1979 he was awarded the Companion of the Order of Australia, Australia's second highest civil award.
* In 2000 selected as the Five Cricketers of the Century by the Wisden Cricketers' Almanack.
* He was the cricket correspondent for the Daily Mail from 1953 to 1956.
* He has authored the following books:
Don Bradman's Book of Cricket (1930)
How to Play Cricket (1935)
My Cricketing Life (1938)
Farwell to Cricket (1950)
The Art of Cricket


Compiled by: Mohandas Menon