It is Do Bradman's 108th birth anniversary © Getty Images
It is Don Bradman’s 108th birth anniversary © Getty Images

It is the birth anniversary of Sir Donald George Bradman, often addressed as the Don. Bradman is synonymous to cricket for most of the cricket lovers across world and is probably the greatest to have played the gentleman’s game. The biggest legend of the game played for a couple of decades, making innumerable records, the biggest being his Test average of 99.94. Born on August 27, 1908 in New South Wales (NSW), Bradman started taking interest in the game of cricket at an early age and used to practice it all by himself with a cricket stump instead of a bat and a golf ball. Bradman would throw the ball to the wall so that it rebounded to hit at a different pace and angle and would try to hit it and that is how he used to play the game during his early days. READ: Don Bradman: The knocks he played on his birthday

Surprisingly, Bradman had opted for tennis giving up cricket even after he had set his mind to become a successful cricketer one day and play at Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG). However, he could not but resumed playing cricket after a couple of years of playing tennis.

Bradman started playing cricket professionally and was included in the Bowral team. One of his earliest knocks included that of a 234 made against Wingelo, a 320 against Moss Vale etc. Post the 1926 Ashes, a number of Australia cricketers retired, which created a void in the team and that is when Bradman got his call up, not from one but two places. While the New South Wales Cricket Association asked him to turn up for a practice match at SCG, he was also selected to play tennis at the same time. Bradman chose to play cricket over tennis and a glorious era in cricket saw its start.

Bradman made his First-Class debut for NSW when he was only 19 years old. The cricketer maintained the form he had while playing for Bowral, as he hit a century on his First-Class debut. However, the selectors did not find him eligible to represent Australia as they toured New Zealand soon after the Sheffield Shield tournament and Bradman’s fireworks.

Bradman moved to Sydney to improve his chances of getting selected in the Australia squad. He scored a century in every innings of the match played against Queensland and was finally selected in the national squad to play against England at Brisbane.

Bradman’s debut in Tests did not remain as fruitful, for he could not do more than a 18 and a 1 and was subsequently dropped from the playing eleven soon after. However, he replaced an injured Bill Ponsford and made history, becoming the youngest cricketer to score a Test century.

Carrying on from there, he played a total of 52 Test matches and scored 6996 runs to end his Test career ended with an average of 99.94. He scored 29 centuries and 13 half-centuries in his Test career.

In First-Class, Bradman made appearance in 234 matches and scored as many as 28067 runs at an average of 95.14. In First-Class, he scored 117 centuries and 69 half-centuries.

Bradman has scored 300 runs in Tests twice, his highest innings being the one of 334 runs. It was the 1930 Ashes as the third Test was scheduled to be played at Headingley, Leeds. Skipper Bill Woodfull had scored a half-century before getting out while Alan Kippax scored 77 but something that was the most attractive about the scorecard was Bradman’s 334, that single-handedly pushed the score to 566.

The other occasion was also at the same ground as Australia visited for the Ashes in 1934. England’s first innings had come to an end with 200 runs on the board. Chasing it, while Bill Ponsford scored 181, it was Bradman’s 304 that took the score to 584.

Bradman played his last Test in 1948 at Kennington Oval. Though Australia won the Test by, an innings and 149 runs, Bradman got out for a duck which resulted in ending his career with an average below 100.

On his birth anniversary, here’s remembering the icon who redefined cricket.