Bradman’s first bat fetches record price from Australian bidder

September 25th, 2008 - 9:50 am ICT by IANS  

Sydney, Sep 25 (IANS) Sir Donald Bradman’s first Test cricket bat that went under the hammer Thursday night fetched A$ 25,000 more than the pre-sale estimated price and much to the relief of many in Australia, it will stay in the country.One of the most coveted willows in the Baggy Greens’ history, the bat was snapped by an Australian bidder for a record price of A$ 145,000.

With wide interest in the auction from overseas, including India, it was feared the bat, signed by the entire 1928-29 Australian and English teams, could end up overseas.

“This is very special - any piece that Donald Bradman used or wore in his Test career is really the pick of the tree as far as Australian cricketing memorabilia is concerned. To have the bat he used in his first Test was really a sensational piece for us. We are delighted that the market agreed with us”, Auctioneer Charles Leski was quoted as saying in the local media.

Surprisingly, the bat did not see much action as Bradman scored only 18 and 1 run in the first Test against England in Brisbane in 1928-29 and was dropped from the team following his ill-fated debut.

However, Bradman had the presence of mind to get it signed by both the Australian and English teams.

“It’s almost amusing to think about it - the 20-year-old Bradman did not do particularly well. Unlike all the other bats he used, this one he had signed by the players from both teams,” Leski told reporters.

“It’s interesting, then, to think about his career after that. A month later, he was cementing his place on the cricket team, a year later a star in his own right,” Leski added.

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