What William Shakespeare is to English literature, Don Bradman is to cricket.There have been many legends in the history of cricket, there will be many legends in the future as well.But nobody can take the place of the greatest cricketer to be ever born, Don Bradman.The master who scored runs for fun and scored centuries at will shall always remain at forefront whenever cricket is discussed.Almost every cricket fan is aware of some of the basic facts about Don Bradman like his mammoth average of 99.94 but there are some facets of Bradman that are rarely known by people but they are equally intriguing.So let’s have a look at 5 unknown facts about Don Bradman:-
#5 ABC\'s Postal address and it\'s link with Bradman
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s (ABC) mailing address in every capital city of Australia is Post Box number 9994. The address is considered a tribute to the exceptional average that Bradman had in his career which is 99.94.The mastermind behind the PO Box number is apparently considered to be Sir Charles Moses, General Manager of the ABC and a personal friend of the master, Bradman.
Though there are some doubts about whether this story is true. As per Wikipedia, “There is some debate about whether the story is true, but Karen Tighe confirms that the number was in fact chosen in honour of Bradman, and the claim is also supported by Alan Eason in his book The A-Z of Bradman.
However, the broadcaster was not assigned the box number until after Moses's successor, Sir Talbot Duckmanton, had retired”.Keeping aside the veracity of the story, ABC’s postal address will always remind Bradman’s fans his amazing skills.
#4 Bradman as cricket umpire
Don Bradman is famous for his exceptional batting skills and for the unscalable heights he achieved as a cricket professional.Though not many would know that Bradman umpired in some grade matches as well.
As a keen student of the game, he studied the laws of cricket and in 1933 successfully passed his New South Wales Cricket Umpires Exam.After retirement as a player, Bradman would umpire South Australian Grade cricket matches as and when time permitted.
Umpiring did for Bradman what commentary does for modern day retired players.It kept him in close quarters with the game and even if he was not playing, he was admiring the skills of the upcoming Australian players.
For a player as inquisitive for the game as him, it is not a surprise that he went ahead with his hobby of umpiring.Bradman standing in the field itself would have been a great motivation for the upcoming players.
#3 Bradman and his love for music
Bradman’s sister Lilian, who subsequently became a piano teacher, taught him how to play a piano.Despite being a professional cricketer, Bradman remained extremely involved with music.Quite often his teammates in both international and domestic sides noticed him staying in a secluded place away from the noise and playing the piano.
Bradman composed and recorded a song called 'Every Day is a Rainbow Day for Me' in 1930. As a pianist, he recorded two songs titled ''An Old Fashioned Lockett' and 'Our Bungalow of Dreams'.
Also, at that time, a best-selling single called 'Our Don Bradman', by Jack O'Hagan was a big success down under.Throughout his life, Bradman played the piano to enjoy the relaxation it gave and feel its soothing powers.The legendary batsman was not only good at cricket but he was equally good at other arts as well.This only adds to the huge stature he holds.
#2 When Bradman had a near death experience
In 1934, Bradman was a part of the Australian team for the tour to England. On the tour, he suffered ill-health but that didn’t deter him from scoring 304 runs in Headingley and 244 in Oval.Just before the team left England he was down with extreme stomach cramps and he had to be operated.
His surgeon, Sir Douglas Shields, found an enlarged, ruptured and septic appendix which was immediately removed. Over the next few days though Bradman remained pretty close to death.The King of England asked to be kept informed of his condition.
His wife rushed to England and eventually his condition started improving and after a months of stay in England, he returned back to Australia.Though it was a nerve wrecking time for his fans and even the world couldn’t have afforded to lose a talent like him and that also in his prime.
#1 Century in 3 overs
When AB de Villiers scored a century in 31 balls, the world went berserk about his talent but not many people know that Bradman once scored 100 runs in 3 overs.The match was played between Blackheath and Lithgow to commemorate the opening of their concrete wicket.
The game was played in December 1931 and Bradman scored 256 in which he hit 14 sixes & 29 fours.At that time, an over constituted of eight balls and the three overs in which he scored 100 runs read:-
1: 66424461 (total of 33 runs)2:- 64466464 (total of 40 runs)3:- 16611446 (total of 29 runs in which 27 were scored by Bradman).
It seems unbelievable but then if somebody can achieve this feat, it has to be Bradman himself. Though it seems a mystery in itself that this fact is still not known by many fans in the world.