Big bash planned on Bradman’s 100th birth anniversary

August 26th, 2008 - 2:54 pm ICT by IANS  

Sydney, Aug 26 (IANS) Australia will Wednesday celebrate the 100th birthday of Sir Donald Bradman - the greatest batsman the world has known and also a magnificent visionary and statesman of world cricket. Born on Aug 27, 1908, Bradman died on Feb 25, 2001, at the age of 92 in Adelaide.

“We are extremely proud of him, proud of his achievements, but more proud of him as a person for the way he coped with those achievements. In that respect he was absolutely remarkable,” his son, John Bradman, told the Australian Associated Press (AAP).

“We’re very touched that people continue to remember him as they do, so long after he retired from playing cricket. I suppose it [the level of interest] does astound us, it always astounded him. He couldn’t understand why people still remembered him so long after he’d finished playing,” John told AAP.

He made his Test debut in 1928 against England and played his final innings in August 1948, also against England. The master batsman had a Test batting average of 99.94, the incredible statistical record of his two-decade long playing career remains unrivalled even 60 years after his final Test.

The cricket family, friends and fans of Bradman will celebrate his life and career at functions across major cities in the country.

Australian Test Captain Ricky Ponting will address 400 guests at the Bradman Centenary dinner hosted at Sydney’s Westin hotel by Cricket Australia. The special dinner will acknowledge Bradman’s contribution to Australian society and the role he played in shaping how an emerging nation defined itself.

Bradman’s granddaughter, Greta Bradman, will sing ‘Every day is a rainbow day for me’, a song composed by her grandfather and written by Jack Lumsdaine in 1930. The dinner will also recapture the mood of the era in which Bradman captured the hearts of Australians and the imagination of the cricketing world.

A special lunch is planned at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. In Bowral, where Bradman grew up, a plaque will be unveiled at the school where the cricket legend used the bell-post as a makeshift wicket, and students will then sing ‘Happy Birthday’ on the oval outside the Bradman Museum.

In Cootamundra, the unchallenged hero’s birthplace in regional New South Wales, Bradman’s grandson Tom will open the Captains Walk, a collection of sculptures of players who have captained Australia. Last week, the Bradman Collection of memorabilia was opened at Adelaide Oval to mark his centenary.

Not only is Bradman revered in Australia, but his timeless legacy will endure forever in world cricket and continue to inspire young players for years to come.

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