Home > Features >

Don Bradman was very conscious of being a role model: Arthur Morris

Don Bradman was very conscious of being a role model: Arthur Morris
Arthur Morris (above) said that it was extraordinary that he had played under his captaincy in 1946 © Getty Images

It has been nearly 65 years since the famous Invincible side of Australia went through the 1948 English summer undefeated. Only two members of that great side are still living: Neil Harvey, the pup of that team, and opening batsman Arthur Morris. Gaurav Joshi caught up with 92-year-old Morris – hailed by Sir Don Bradman as the greatest opening bat with Barry Richards — last week at the Bradman Museum.

Excerpts from an interview:

Gaurav Joshi (GJ): When did you first meet Don Bradman?

Arthur Morris (AM): I was nine years old. My father was a school teacher in a suburb of Northern Newcastle. Bradman was travelling for a sporting organisation and was in town having a coffee at a shop next to our place. I was outside, in the front yard with shorts and no shoes and my dad said “come here and meet Don Bradman”. I went outside and asked, “how are you, Mr Bradman?”

I cannot remember what Bradman had said at the time. It was later in life that I went on to realise I had met one of the finest cricketers; it was even more extraordinary that I had played under his captaincy in 1946.

GJ: What was Bradman like as a man and as a captain ?

AM: He was very conscious of being a good role model not only as a cricketer, but for the entire nation. I remember him mentioning how important it was to tour England in 1948 after the war. As a captain he always encouraged the idea of playing against all the counties on that tour. In those days there use to be large crowds even for our matches against the counties. The more the people, the more the money for the counties. Bradman had thought this would assist in rebuilding cricket and lifestyle of people after the war.

GJ: There is so much said about the rift between Bill O’Reilly and Sir Don Bradman. Your comments?

AM: I get this question all the time since I got along with both Tiger and Bradman equally. It is like having two people working for a multinational organisation who do not get along, but their objective at the end of the day is ensure the organisation grows and makes a profit. It does not mean that they need to go home and spend time together after work.

It was similar between Bradman and O’Reilly they had mutual respect for each other on the field, but had their own ways off the field. Both believe the other one was the best batsman or the bowler they ever played against.

GJ: You were the first person to score 100 in both innings of First-Class debut match (Only two people have done it since — Nari Contractor and Ajud Ahmed)?

AM: I don’t remember the details of the actual innings but I remember I did not even have a bat of my own and had to burrow one from St George Club cricket kit. I played at St George Club with Tiger O’Reilly, and he took me down the staircase of the pavilion and told me to pick out a bat I liked and use it for my first match for New South Wales (NSW). It proved to be a lucky bat.

GJ: The Baggy Green now has become such an iconic symbol was it similar in the past ? Did all the players discuss its value and the meaning of donning the Baggy Green?

AM: Not really. It was obviously a privilege to play for Australia, but the players did not really talk about the cap in such. There was The War, and then, all of a sudden you were playing for Australia and you would think to yourself what am I doing here. I was also extremely delighted too when I had donned my NSW cap the first time.

(Gaurav Joshi is an Indian-born Australian who played with Michael Clarke in his junior days. He coaches and reports for a Sydney radio station. Over the years he has freelanced for Australia Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) and is a regular on ABC cricket show Cow Corner. He is the author of the book “Teen Thunder Down Under” – The inside story of India’s 2012 U19 World Cup Triumph)

India tour of Australia 2014, Practice matches

Nov 24, 2014 (05:29 IST)   at Glenelg, Adelaide

Pakistan vs New Zealand in UAE, 2014

Nov 26, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Sharjah

England tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 26, 2014 (14:30 IST)   at Colombo

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 26, 2014 (12:00 IST)   at Dhaka

India tour of Australia 2014, Practice matches

Nov 28, 2014 (05:29 IST)   at Adelaide

More

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 24, 2014  at Colombo

Hong Kong won by 2 wkts

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 23, 2014  at Chittagong

Bangladesh won by 68 runs

South Africa tour of Australia, 2014

Nov 23, 2014  at Sydney

Australia won by 2 wickets (D/L method)

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 22, 2014  at Dambulla

Match abandoned without a ball being bowled

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 21, 2014  at Dambulla

Match abandoned without a ball being bowled

Photos

Phil Hughes suffers head injury: In photos

Videos

AB de Villiers: Disappointed with defeat in Australia

Phil Hughes suffers head injury: In photos

Phil Hughes injury: Indian team sends its best wishes

India’s bowling performance on Day One of tour of Australia is a promising sign

India tour of Australia 2014-15: Can India afford such a rigorous tour just ahead of ICC World Cup 2015?

Cheteshwar Pujara faces crucial series in Australia following England nightmare

Australia Australia vs South Africa Australia vs South Africa 2014 Bangladesh Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe 2014 India India tour of Australia 2014-15 South Africa South Africa tour of Australia 2014 South Africa vs Australia South Africa vs Australia 2014 Zimbabwe Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh 2014 Zimbabwe vs Bangladesh Zimbabwe vs Bangladesh 2014

Sachin Tendulkar to meet Sports Minister to discuss Sarita Devi ban

Sourav Ganguly: Fights and controversies are a part of sport

Sachin Tendulkar’s ‘Playing It My Way’ launches in Delhi

Australia to send top women and army cricketers to revive international cricket in Pakistan

Michael Vaughan offers ECB proposal for FA Cup-style T20 competition

Karnataka’s team spirit is their secret to phenomenal success in recent times

Phillip Hughes injury: Spare a thought for Sean Abbott

India’s bowling performance on Day One of tour of Australia is a promising sign

India tour of Australia 2014-15: Can India afford such a rigorous tour just ahead of ICC World Cup 2015?

Chandu Patankar: A gloveman lost amidst Bombay stalwarts

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

682 Posts | 6 Fans

Video: Phil Hughes suffers head injury, collapses on field during New South Wales vs South Australia tie

Watch Free Live Streaming & Telecast of Indian Super League (ISL) 2014 Football 37th Match between Kerala Blasters FC vs Atletico de Kolkata

PK Tharki Chokro making: Rancho aka Aamir Khan and Munna Bhai aka Sanjay Dutt shake legs to this folk number

Simbu-Hansika’s Vaalu slated for Christmas release!

Yeh Hai Mohabbatein: Will Raman and Ishita help Mihika with her plans?

Alibaba to launch its Taobao marketplace in international markets: Reuters

8 reasons to add rosemary to your diet

eBay India ‘Black Friday’ sale kicks off today

How many calories do bananas have?

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here