Benaud, Taylor pay rich tributes to Bradman

October 16th, 2008 - 9:25 pm ICT by IANS  

Sydney, Oct 16 (IANS) Former Australian captains Richie Benaud and Mark Taylor paid rich tributes to Don Bradman on the occasion of the legend’s centenary year. Benaud and Taylor launched a new book on the legend at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) Members Bar titled Icons Of World Sport - Don Bradman. The attractive book features previously unseen photos of Bradman and several tributes from the likes of former prime ministers Bob Hawke and John Howard to Sachin Tendulkar and Ricky Ponting. They see Bradman as the game’s lasting beacon.

“There’s always a bit of memory fade with anyone, even Bradman, who is the most recognised and recognisable person around in cricket. Younger people will remember not a great deal about me, but I think they’ll always remember Bradman. Bradman’s name will never fade, it will quietly slide down a notch or two,” Benaud was quoted as saying by the Sydney Morning Herald.

Benaud recalled a story about the Central Cumberland Cricket Club which refusing to pay five shillings as train fares for a teenage Bradman, who had to travel from Bowral to Parramatta to play for them. The club felt felt it was too great a risk on an unknown talent.

“People will say, ‘That bloke Bradman, he must’ve been extraordinary …’ and then they’ll stop. And you’ll wait for them to finish and what they’re trying to say is, ‘Would he be able to do it these days?’ and the answer is, I suspect, yes, he would.

“But not as quickly, because the bowling was more attacking and they were always trying to get Don out, you wouldn’t see totally defensive fields for him,” Benaud said.

Taylor said he decided not to bat on in the third day of a Test against Pakistan in 1998 - when on his highest score of 334 not out, the same highest score as Bradman’s - because he feared the public’s reaction.

“If Don Bradman had not got 334 I probably would have gone out to bat on, I would have loved to have put Pakistan in the field again on the morning of day three. But I didn’t want people to think that the reason I batted on was to pass Bradman,” Taylor said.

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