Don Bradman Biography
An average of 99.94; 29 centuries in 52 Tests; 12 double hundreds among them; and all that, while losing several of his best years to the Second World War. The greatness of Bradman’s numbers does not leave much room for argument. Even the 0.06 that seems missing from the picture of absolute perfection conjures up romance of his final innings duck, which left him four short. Yes, Bradman was so colossal that the seven ducks he left in his wake raised eyebrows and gave rise to legends.
Emerging from the little unknown town of Bowral, he made runs — with an appetite and proficiency never seen before or since. He provided the sole spot of joy for a nation struggling under the yoke of the 1929 crash. When Bradman batted struggles were forgotten, because every time he approached the crease happy history was about to be made to override the sad. It was to stop him somehow that England and Douglas Jardine conceived Bodyline before it was outlawed, and Bradman failed in the infamous series — scoring at “just” 56.
He was the first superstar cricketer who became a huge financial success, and left even his teammates in shade and not a little sourness. His relentless pursuit for runs and fame, and later his compulsion to win as captain, and finally his stubborn habits of a teetotaller gave rise to lot of voices in the team and outside who did not quite swear by Bradman. His days as administrator led to much dissent and it was his tightfistedness that went a long way to kick-start the Kerry Packer revolution.
But even the greatest of his critics seldom questioned his mastery with the bat or his reading of the game. He remains undisputed as the greatest batsman to have ever played the game. With retirement and age the Bradman legend has grown and, unlike others of the genre, almost all the stories about him are true. There is hardly any scope for elaboration.