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Donald Bradman and the birth of a legend

J.G.W. Davies was a distinguished classical scholar who became the chief psychologist at the War Office during the Second World War, secretary of the Cambridge University appointments board, an executive director of the Bank of England and treasurer and president of MCC. He opened the batting for Kent, played rugby for Blackheath and was three times the British (and therefore world) champion at Rugby fives. Yet he was best known for none of these things because, in 1934 at Fenner’s, he bowled Donald Bradman with an off break for the first nought he had ever made in England.

It was but one small measure of the extraordinary fame of the batsman born in Cootamundra, New South Wales, 100 years ago today. No wonder another relatively obscure cricketer who once dismissed him, Bill Andrews, of Somerset, entitled his autobiography The Hand that Bowled Bradman. Both because of the time in which he lived and the prowess with which he played, the most influential Australian who ever lived reflected glory like no other sportsman. Defeating him was like coming from behind to beat Tiger Woods in the last round of the Open, or outpacing Usain Bolt over 200 metres.

August 27, 2008 Posted by | Sports | , , , , | Leave a comment