Don Bradman's hometown will bowl you over: Head to Bowral for a look at the life of this cricketing legend

Daily Mail

Daily Mail

Author 2019-09-01 15:05:00

When Wisden, the annual cricket Bible, invited 100 experts on the game to name their five greatest cricketers of the 20th century, only one player was selected by every member of the panel: Sir Donald Bradman (1908-2001).

Although he lived for most of his playing career in Adelaide, where he batted for South Australia, Bradman was brought up in Bowral, a town in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales, close to the cricket ground, naturally.

It's a two-hour train ride south from Sydney, followed by a short walk past the town's row of antique and collectibles shops, to the Bradman Museum and International Cricket Hall of Fame.


This statue of Don Bradman is outside the museum dedicated to his life and career in Bowral

Bradman's modest boyhood home, with a white picket fence at 52 Shepherd Street, is just round the corner. The super-keen can arrange special tours of the property to see the old water tank Bradman used to bounce a golf ball off and then hit using a cricket stump.

This spot has gone down in legend as it was here he honed his technique (see the grainy YouTube video of him later recreating his youthful endeavours).


Bradman walks out to bat during a test match against England in Leeds

The museum is next to the pleasant little Bradman Oval cricket ground and it's a veritable treasure trove of Bradmanophilia. Here you'll find a bat with his signature from the famous 'Invincibles' side that was undefeated in England in 1948. Close by is his baggy green Australian test cap from 1936.

Another room features newspaper headlines including one from the Daily Press: 'Bradman versus England' - he was so good the rest of the Australian team hardly mattered.

There are lovely old pictures: one of him with the Invincibles at Tilbury Dock, another of him meeting the baseball legend Babe Ruth in New York in 1932. And then there are the stats. His average Test batting average? A mere 99.94 including 29 centuries in 52 matches. A display says this is 'nearly twice a good as the next elite player'.

And it all began in sleepy little Bowral in Sydney's Southern Hills.  


Tickets for International Cricket Hall of Fame £11 each, For tours of Bradman's home visit

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