Even a cricket ignoramus like myself knows about Sir Don Bradman, the man widely acknowledged by every Aussie to be the greatest batsman of all time, the greatest cricketer of all time, and basically, God made flesh amongst us.
Located just under two hours' drive from Canberra, the Bradman Museum and International Cricket Hall of Fame is a must-see for cricket tragics, cricket fans, for those who don't like cricket but love it, and especially for those who know hardly anything about it.
Featuring six galleries with plenty of interactive touch screens, on demand audio and visual footage, radio broadcasts, live telecasts, photos, artworks, fascinating memorabilia, and five huge video screens which place cricket in the context of world history, the Bradman Museum and International Cricket Hall of Fame is an excellent multi-media experience that brings one of the world's most popular sports alive.
One of my favourite exhibits features the Kerry Packer and World Series Cricket revolution because that was how I was introduced to this sport as a little girl for the very first time. As I wandered through the exhibit, memories of long hot summer nights watching the cricket on TV and poring over McDonald's posters of the West Indies cricket team came flooding back to me, and I couldn't help singing that song, 'C'mon Aussie c'mon!' once again.
I also enjoyed the exhibit featuring the first Australian cricket team to have ever played in England. In fact, they were the first Australian sporting team to tour overseas. The year was 1868 and the team consisted of 13 indigenous cricketers.
It was also was rather thrilling to see this satirical death notice that first appeared in the English newspaper, The Sporting Times, back in 1882 after the England cricket team was beaten for the first time by Australia in a home Test match. This was the first time the word 'ashes' was introduced to the world of cricket.
Of course the memory of the man who was affectionately known as 'The Don' lives on throughout the Museum, especially in the Bradman Gallery. The Bradman Gallery is a wonderful commemoration of Sir Don Bradman's life and accomplishments.
And outside the Museum you will find the beautifully lush green Bradman Oval. Bradman Oval hosts regular one day international matches, cricket coaching camps (including the Steve Waugh cricket clinics for children), home games for the Bowral cricket club and social matches.
The Bradman Museum and International Cricket Hall of Fame is located at St Jude Street, Bowral, just off the F5 Freeway (Hume Highway) and half-way between Canberra and Sydney. Open everyday from 10am – 5pm, except for Good Friday and Christmas Day.
Admission prices are: adults $20, children (5-15 years) $11, family (2 adults and 3 children) $55, and concession $15.
The Bradman Museum and International Cricket Hall of Fame includes a café with an all-day dining menu, a gift shop, and free parking.
For more information and to book your tickets online, please visit the Bradman Museum website.
Finally, remember those two names I mentioned at the very start of this article-Joseph Lyons and Ben Chifley? Well, if you don't already know this, Joseph Lyons and Ben Chifley were Australian Prime Ministers. Joseph Lyons was PM between 1932-1939. He would have been furious at the English cricket team during their 1932-33 Ashes tour of Australia because this was the time of the infamous 'Bodyline' incident which saw the English cricketers use a physically threatening cricketing tactic known as Bodyline specifically to attack Bradman.
Ben Chifley was Australian PM between 1945-1949, and he would have cheered on the Aussie team (captained by Bradman) during their tour of England in 1948. The 1948 Aussie team is famous for being the first Test match side to play an entire tour of England without losing a match, earning themselves the nickname 'The Invincibles'.
But while Bradman is remembered by Aussies today, there are many of us who would struggle with knowing who Lyons and Chifley were. I for one had absolutely no idea who they were until I moved to Canberra. After all, Canberra has two suburbs named after these Prime Ministers.
And yet no suburb is named after the great Bradman?