The International Cricket Hall of Fame
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I was very young and schooling during hey playing days of great Sir Don Bradman in International cricket. I am a native of India, where I lived in those days. Cricket is very important game in India as in Australia. Indian cricket team was very week in those days.
We Indian boys mostly enjoyed the results & scores of strong teams like Australia, England, and West Indies etc. Cricket Matches to win Ashes between England and Australia were most popular among the Indian boys. There was no TV in those days. We used to enjoy cricket commentary on Radio or knew the scores from Newspapers.
During those days Bradman was one of the most popular Cricketers. We could only see his photos in newspapers. I was also a member of my university Cricket team. Time passed; I married; blessed with two sons, who settled in Australia. Naturally I and my wife decided to live with my sons. My elder son is in Sydney and younger is posted in Canberra. I always wanted to meet Sir Don but unfortunately by the time I came here this great cricketer left the world and passed into history.
One day my younger son Abhinav told me that there was a place between Sydney and Canberra named Cootamundra, which was birthplace of Bradman. Near this place is Bowral where Bradman played in his younger days. A museum of International Cricket- Hall of Fame
exists there. Bowral is almost midway between Sydney & Canberra.
I jumped to the idea of visiting Bowal & immediately decided to go there. One day, when Abhinav took leave we packed snacked and I along with my wife, daughter-in-law Gunjan, and my two-year-old grandson left Sydney at 9 pm. Fortunately, that day was warm with full sunshine.
Bowral is much colder than Sydney. We travelled leisurely by car for two hours enjoying beautiful scenery all through. Bowral was small picturesque town. There existed famous museum "Hall of fame", near the ground, where Sir Don used to do practice and played the local matches. Every aspect of international cricket in general and about Don Bradman in particular was displayed. There was a statue of Sir Donald Bradman at one side of playing ground.
There was ticket to enter the museum which we purchased in front hall. That hall was full of items connected with cricket and Bradman. There were so many items for sale, especially those which were interesting for youngsters. We purchased a cricketer's cap, a ball and coin minted on the honour of Bradman.
Ground floor of museum was reserved for history and information about international cricket- showing many expects of game; displayed memoires of world top cricketers including signed bats, vests, shirts, signed photographs, and caps. I was surprised to see the vest wore by famous Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar in his 30th test match played at Headingley, England while making 193 runs.
There was a cap of Sir Don which was presented to him after his triple century. Running videos were showing high points of important past international matches played by famous players. There was information about all the world top cricketers of all playing countries eg. Australia, India, England, West Indies, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and others.
I recollected the name of some of heros of my playing days such as Neil Harvey, Lindwall, Millar, Danis Compton, Len Hutton, Viv Richard, Worrall, Weeks, Walcott, Vijay Merchant, Lala Amarnath, Vinoo Mankad, Vijay Hazare to name a few. The list is unlimited. I was thrilled to read about great cricketers or seeing their pictures and watching playing them in videos. Even position of fielders on cricket ground; description of various type of bowling; photographs of Australian and other countries cricket teams of various years were displayed. Actually it is needed several weeks to fully cover every items when we could devote hardly a few hours there and remained unsatisfied.
First floor of museum was fully reserved for displaying various aspect of Sir Don Bradman's life, about his game and he as an administrator. We had glimpses of his private and family life. His full name was Donald George Bradman born on August 27, 1908 and left this world on February 25, 2001. In his early years he practiced with golf ball hitting by cricket stamp.
The name of his wife was Jessie Martha Menzies. They were married in the year 1932. According to Bradman, his wife was most supportive in building his career. He was inducted to test team at the age of 22. I recollect that England Captain Douglas Jardine frustrated by super batting of Bradman & loosing test matches against Australia asked his fast bowler Harold Larwood to bowl Bodyline, a short pitched bouncer injuring the body of players.
At that time, Helmets, pads on arm etc were not worn by players. Even Bradman was hurt. Injuries induced moral of players down. There was great hue & cry in world of cricket and even political relations between England and Australia hampered. Jardine was greatly criticized by Indian fans. Speciality of Bradman was consistency which is rarely found. Only present Indian player Tendulkar could reach somewhere near it which was also acknowledged by Sir Don himself. His test average record of 99.94 is impossible to be ever Brocken. Bradman was finally inducted to ICC Cricket hall of fame.
Bradman was man of character and high morals with highest spirit of sportsmanship which is confirmed by following words of him:
"When considering the stature of an athlete, I place great store on certain qualities which I believe to be essential in addition to skill. They are that a person conducts his live with dignity, with courage and perhaps most of all with modesty. These virtues are totally compatible with pride, ambition, determination and competitiveness"
There was a cafeteria in the building where from coffee; light snacks to full meals were available. We enjoyed coffee and light snacks there, before leaving the museum knowing a lot more about the history of cricket.
158236 - 2023-06-14 14:53:15