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This Day in History

Australian History

Saturday, June 12, 1948. :   Donald Bradman scores 138 in the First Test at Trent Bridge.

     Donald George Bradman was born on 27 August 1908 in Cootamundra, New South Wales, Australia. One of Australia's most popular sporting heroes, he is often regarded as the greatest batsman of all time. The Bradman Museum and Bradman Oval are located in the New South Wales town of Bowral where Bradman grew up, spending many an hour practising his cricket using a stump and a golf ball. Bradman developed his legendary split-second speed and accuracy by practising hitting into a water tank on a brick stand behind the Bradman home: when hit into the curved brick stand, the ball would rebound at high speed and varying angles. Bradman's batting average of 99.94 from his 52 Tests was nearly double the average of any other player before or since.

Bradman was drafted in grade cricket in Sydney at the age of 18. Within a year he was representing New South Wales and within three years he had made his Test debut. In the English summer of 1930 he scored 974 runs over the course of the five Ashes tests, the highest individual total in any test series. Even at almost forty years of age - most players today are retired by their mid-thirties - Bradman returned to play cricket after World War II. On 12 June 1948, he scored 138 in the First Test Cricket at Trent Bridge. In his farewell 1948 tour of England the team he led, dubbed "The Invincibles", went undefeated throughout the tour, a feat unmatched to date.

Bradman was awarded a knighthood in 1949 and a Companion of the Order of Australia, the country's highest civil honour, in 1979. In 1996, he was inducted into the Australian Cricket Hall of Fame as one of the ten innaugural members. After his retirement, he remained heavily involved in cricket administration, serving as a selector for the national team for nearly 30 years. Sir Donald Bradman died on 25 February 2001.

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