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Bodyline cricket bat donated to Bowral museum

John Clancey donates historic bat to a New South Wales museum.

Bodyline cricket bat
A look at the Bodyline cricket bat(Image credits: Angel News)

The infamous bodyline Ashes Test series between England and Australia in 1932-33 season is considered to be one of the most controversial Test series’ in the history of cricket. The series took the cricketing world by storm after a lethal technique was adopted by the England cricket team against the Australians. A rare cricket bat, part of the infamous series was donated to a sports museum in New South Wales on Wednesday.

John Clancey, the proud owner of the bat, said that he received the willow from his father's cousin on his 18th birthday in 1996. He also went on to state that the prized bat had been in his family for 83 years after his father Bill had won it in a raffle for "two bob" in 1933 when the English cricket team toured Australia. Mr. Clancey's father then decided to pass the bat on to his cousin Tony.

Also read: Classic Ashes Series: Bodyline 1932-33

The 1932-33 season Ashes series was known for the bizarre theory adopted by the English bowlers in order to tackle the Australian batsmen, especially Don Bradman. They peppered the Australian batsmen with short balls attacking the chest and the head. It is to be noted that helmets weren't part of the game then. The incident raised a lot of eyebrows with several cricketers even questioning the English cricket team's spirit for the game.

Clancey decided to donate the bat to Bowral museum following his wish to let the future generations get a glimpse at the historic willow. Clancey had come to the decision of donating the bat while taking a tour of the Bradman Museum.

"I went straight to the Bodyline area and I couldn't find anything like my cricket bat," he was quoted as saying by ABC news.

He further went on to add, "It just hit me all of a sudden, 'Well, this is where it belongs, this is its home. If I sold it , someone would buy it as a collector and put it in their pool room or something.’ I'd rather have it placed where it's going to be in a cabinet in the Bowral museum."

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Clancey said that he was very happy with his decision of donating the bat as he wanted the future generations to know about the history of the infamous series. Clancey had a chat with the curator and both the parties reached a mutual agreement of keeping the bat at the museum forever. "It's donated to them and it will be theirs forever," Mr. Clancey said.

He was quoted by the ABC news as saying, "I just feel my grandkids and their kids and whatever will be able to go and see that and say, 'Well, that was Pop's bat. So I think for all people to visit the museum, it's a lovely piece to look at."

Australian Cricket, that boasts over its history of being a dominant force in the game, welcomed Clancey's gesture to preserve the game's history.

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