If it’s difficult I’ll do it now. If it’s impossible, I’ll do it presently
Legendary cricketer Donald Bradman has been hailed as the greatest batsman of all time. Yet, he always said that the game had existed long before he was born and would continue long after is demise.
“During my career, I was privileged to give the public my interpretation of its character,” he said, “in the same way that a pianist might interpret the works of Beethoven.”
Bradman dominated Australian cricket in the 1920s and 1930s. Controversial bowling tactics deployed by British players during what became known as the Bodyline tour in the early 1930s were designed specifically to counter the challenge posed by Bradman.
During a tour of England in 1934, Bradman almost died, playing through abdominal pain which turned out to be peritonitis – often fatal, before the availability of penicillin. Well-wishers queued to donate blood and even King George V asked to be kept informed. Bradman pulled through and returned to Australia to convalesce.
After serving and being invalided out of the Australian Air Force during the war, Bradman returned to cricket, retiring in 1948. Entering to bat at his last Test match in England, the crowd gave him a standing ovation and his opponents cheered him. His career Test batting average of 99.94 is perhaps the greatest achievement of anyone in any major sport. He was knighted in 1949.
Shortly before Sir Donald’s death in 2001, Australian Prime Minister John Howard described him as “the greatest living Australian.”
For as long as the game is continued to be played, it’s certain Bradman’s name will never be forgotten.