Monday, February 05, 2007

Don Bradman

The village of Bowral is about an hour or so out of Sydney and if you half close your eyes you could imagine being in Sussex, it has a timeless feeling about it which the village cricket pitch reinforces.

Don Bradman's Museum is next to this cricket pitch, The Bradman Oval. So are his ashes, in a rose garden along with his wife's remains, forever overlooking the scene they loved the best. Don Bradman first played here at the age of 12 and famously scored 300 runs in a single innings, which is a local batting record. He then went on to play for NSW and Australia and was Captain of Australia between 1936 - 1948 finally retiring with a record test batting average of 99.94.

The museum opened in 1996 to house Bradman's personal memorabilia and historic objects relating to the history of cricket. We were greeted by Andrew Flintoff's shirt, signed, his first as England Captain in the International against Sri Lanka. It was a shame it was in a glass case, I would loved to have had a good old sniff at it ....mmmm! There were very old bats going back to 18th century, stumps, early pads and cricket balls. The old chap liked Bradman's first bat and first Baggy Green Australia Cap while I spent ages giggling in the team dressing room, alongside the cogitating cricketer, listening to recordings by famous cricketers about dressing room antics, which are heard via an old Bakelite phone. It was all fascinating and we spent several hours there.

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