Today is Sir Don Bradman’s 113th birthday. Considered as the greatest batsman of all time, many cricket legends look up to him, even those who probably never had seen through their lifetimes. The Don is still considered a benchmark in the cricketing world and no one has yet surpassed him in that regard. There are some those who are probably equal or close to him but to surpass him will require god gifted talent, along with effort and consistency to maintain that kind of a career.
Bradman was born in Cootamundra in New South Wales, Australia. The stories about him practising alone with a cricket stump and a golf ball is part of Australian cricket folklore. His meteoric rise from the local Bowral team to the national team is also well known. His big scores for his local Bowral team caught the attention of the Sydney Press. He scored a century in his debut for St. George at his grade cricket debut in Sydney.
He made his debut for the New South Wales team and scored a century in his first-class debut. It was not until the 1928-29 season that he was selected for Australia and the rest was history. His feats for the national team were feared and respected, at the same time. He was so feared that Douglas Jardine, the English captain in the 1932-33 Ashes series had to devise the Bodyline plan of bowling to curb Don’s free-flowing ways with the bat.
The most well-known record of his is the test average of 99.94 but he has other records too. He has the most double centuries (12), most runs scored in a day (309), most consecutive matches in which he made a century (6), highest fifth-wicket partnership with Sid Barnes (405), most runs against an opponent (England, 5028 runs) and many more.
Wisden hailed Bradman as “the greatest phenomenon in the history of cricket, indeed in the history of all ball games”. Statistician Charles Davis stated that no other international athlete was as dominant as Bradman in the sport of cricket. He was given Knighthood in 1949.
Bradman can be considered as probably one of the best sportspersons ever with his career and achievements As said above, there have been many cricketers who were close to him but never surpassed him. Whether it is Smith or Lara or even Sachin who probably has come closest to Bradman, they never surpassed the Don. Don Bradman is a colossus monument in the sport and that’s how it will probably be for many years.