An embarrassment of monumental proportions!

South Africa were ostracised from international cricket and their 1971-72 tour of Australia became a casualty. The authorities hurried filled in the void by having a series between Australia and a World XI comprising some of the biggest names in international cricket.

One of the players of the world team was Tony Grieg who flew in from South Africa with Hylton Ackerman. They were received at the Adelaide Airport by Gary Sobers — he was playing club cricket in South Australia — and an elderly gentleman. Sobers introduced the elderly gentleman to Greig and Ackerman, who in their tried state mumbled a “hello” before sitting down for a cup of coffee.

Before leaving the airport, Ackerman asked the elderly gentleman to hold his overnight bag while he went to the washroom to freshen himself up. When he returned from the washroom he made some polite conversation with the elderly gentleman and asked him if he was connected with Australian cricket. To which, the elderly gentleman said “yes”.

Ackerman then asked the gentleman if he had played cricket, to which he replied “yes”.

Ackerman’s curiosity was increasing. He had not caught the elderly gentleman’s name when Sobers had done the introduction and hence asked his name again.

“Don Bradman,” came the reply!

And to think that Ackerman did not recognise the greatest-ever batsman in cricket history! Worse, he made his baggage minder!