Photo Feature: Exquisite Bradman Museum & Cricket Hall Of Fame

With Test batting average of 99.94, Sir Donald Bradman, also known as ‘The Don’, will always remain the pride of Australian sport.

The Bradman Museum situated in Bowral, the town where Bradman grew up, displayed this pride. Opened in 1989, the museum extensively captures the ‘the boy from Bowral’. His first bat, cricket journey, interviews, photographs – in short, what made him great. The museum is also Australia’s largest cultural exhibition dedicated to the game in the International Cricket Hall of Fame, and on my visit I was glad to see an exhibit on the ‘Bradman-Tendulkar connection’.

The Museum has Bradman’s life journey.
Australia’s most cherished sporting legend, Sir Don bradman. One of his most iconic photos.

Australia’s most cherished sporting legend, the greatest batsman who has ever lived with a Test batting average of 99.94 and 29 centuries in only 52 matches, a feat unparalleled in men’s world sport.

Bradman wore this cap in his first series as Australian Captain.

1936-37: This cap is especially significant as it was Bradman’s first series as Australian Captain. Australia won the series 3-2 with Bradman making three Test centuries, two of them double-centuries.

Bradman had scored 12 double centuries, 29 centuries and 13 half centuries in his Test cricket career. But the most shocking thing was that he had hit only six sixes in his Test career while the numbers of fours were 681. 
Bradman’s life journey from his birth in 1908 to 1928. 

From playing for NSW to Australian selection. Don said, “My parents taught me to be a cricketer off the field as well as on. It was not ‘did you win?’ but ‘did you play the game?’ that’s made the man.”

Bradman statue in the gallery.
Bradman Memorabilia.

1886-87 Summerfield Cup: Trophy awarded to the Bowral Cricket club.
A letter Bradman’s mother, Emily Bradman.
Bradman’s life member’s badge.
A signed portrait.
A songsheet of the piano piece called ‘Rainbow Day’ composed by Don Bradman.

Don played his first cricket match and scored his first century at the age of 12.

In 1920-21, when aged 12, Don Bradman was acting as scorer for the senior Bowral Cricket Club team that included his father as umpire, elder brother and two uncles. One day, the team was a player short and young Don was sent in at the fall of the eighth wicket to score an unbeaten 37. Another day, in return innings, he scored 29 not out. As a reward for his effort, a team member gave Don his damaged ‘kit bat’. In 1925, Bradman scored a district record of 300 with this bat.

Bradman’s performance through the years.

The only bowler to dismiss Bradman twice for a duck in Tests was Sir Alec Bedser of England. In his last Test innings, Bradman failed to score any runs. He was bowled duck at The Oval in London. Had he scored just four, Bradman would have retired with a Test average of exactly 100.

Bradman Memorabilia: Handwritten quotes; The ball caught by Bradman at the 1936-37 Ashes Series to dismiss England’s last batsman, securing Aussie victory; 304-244 (1934) Bat; Bradman records book; Worn-out uniforms.
From drinks basket to scorecards, Bradman museum has archived and preserved most of Don’s life.

1930 Ashes: Bradman made 334 marking his first triple century against England. Bradman scored 309 of those runs on 11 July 1930, which remains as the highest number of runs scored by a single batsman in one day.

The Invincibles.

1948: The Austalian Cricket Team, captained by Don Bradman played 34 matches, including five Test matches against arch-rivals England, returned home undefeated, hence ‘The Invincibles’.

Portrait of Don Bradman.

Don Bradman received fan mail all his life. At it’s peak, during the 1948 Test series, he was receiving over 500 letters a day.

Bradman received the Australia’s second-highest civilian honour - Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) in 16 June 1979, for his service to the sport of cricket and administration.

Don Bradman had a life-long love of music and was taught to play the piano by his sister Lillian. ‘Everyday is a Rainbow Day for Me’ was a piano piece compose by him in 1930 that was commercially recorded.

Don Bradman as Cricket Administrator & Selector.

Complex and highly driven, Bradman kept a pre-eminent position in the game by acting as an administrator, selector and writer for three decades following his retirement. The span of his service, in terms of years, far exceeded his playing career.

Almost 50 years after his retirement as a Test player, in 1997, Prime Minister of Australia John Howard called him the “greatest living Australian”.
‘The greatest partnership of my life’: Sir Don Bradman got married to Jessie Menzies in April 1932.
Don Bradman died of pneumonia on 25 February 2001, in Adelaide, Australia.
One of the famous quotes by Sir Don Bradman.
Life-size bronze statue of Bradman greeting the visitors.

The International Cricket Hall of Fame

Merchandise zone.
How ‘the ball’ evolved through years.
From top, standard red, clean white, dirty white, women’s ball & blind cricket balls.
The Umpire.
On his visit to the museum, Tendulkar marked his correct height on the board.

Notice the marking near Sachin’s bat. His son, Arjun, marked his height when he visited the stadium.

Sachin Tendulkar’s portrait was unveiled at the Museum in December, 2018. Artist Dave Thomas took a month to prepare the portrait.

Museum curator Andrew Summerell shares the story of Bradman praising Sachin Tendulkar and when his son, Arjun, visited the museum and played a game of cricket.

Bradman of the microphone: Richie Benaud
From backyard to Baggy Green: Journey of Adam Gilchrist.
Origins of the game from 1334.

Cricket evolved from a game developed by shepherds in southern England to pass time while guarding their sheep.

The bat used in the 1750s.
Australian English Sports.

After successful all-England tours in to Australia in the 1860s, cricket quickly developed in the country. In 1865, a group of Aboriginal men formed a team and played against the local team in Edenhope, Australia.

After coaching by England’s first-class player Tom Wills they played against Melbourne cricket club in front of 8,000 people in Melborune.

The first major inter-colonial match was plated on 26 & 27 March, 1856 between NSW and Victoria. NSW won by 3 wickets which began a rivalry between the two which remains till date.

The first reported Australian cricket match was played in Sydney on 8 January 1804 on land now known as Hyde Park. It was played by the officers and crew of HMS Calcutta.

Memorabilia of the inter-colonial cricket.
When England suffered its first home test defeat at the hands of Australia in 1882.
Read the obituary notice published by the London Sporting Times.
The first recorded women’s match was played in England in 1745.

One section in the Museum is dedicated to women in cricket, which shows how the women’s game evolved. The first matches, uniform transformations, old photographs, etc.

A bigger section dedicated to women’s cricket will open soon.

Early uniforms of Women’s cricket.
Australian and India Women’s Cricket Teams, Perth 1977

1976-77: Indian Women made their first tour of Australia. The solitary Test was won by Australia by 147 runs.

India, 1978 January: Second World Cup Squad

This was the first Australian side to win the World Cup. Playing in India, the team won the Final against England at Hyderabad.

Recreation of a dressing room.
Dressing room: a place of secrets, camaraderie, discussions.
The museum has captured cricket history from all over the world.

The Bradman Trail in Bowral, Australia

The Famous Bradman house, 52 Shepherd Street in Bowral.
Bradman lived in this house from 1911 to 1924.
20 Glebe Street, Bowral: Bradman assisted his father George in building this home and lived here from 1924.

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