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Monday, Oct 18, 2021
Outlook.com

Dwarfing the Don?

Not quite global perhaps, nor the greatest, yet you measure a century against him

Dwarfing the Don?
Dwarfing the Don?
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53
Some 30 years ago Rowland Bowen, the pioneering cricket historian, warned, "One must not judge a cricketer on his figures alone." Precisely because Don Bradman's statistical superiority is so emphatic, that caveat applies especially to him. If we're to grasp what Bradman was—and what he wasn't—we have to look beyond the mind-bending career averages and try to place the individual against a wider historical canvas.

In Australia at the moment, a special condolence book has been placed in every single post office. PM John Howard dubbed him "the most dominant figure in Australian life for decades." The Sydney Daily Telegraph proclaimed, "Nation mourns greatest hero." Big claims for a mere cricketer, and statistics alone can't explain them.

Bradman entered the scene at a peculiar moment in Australian history. At the outset of the '30s, the country had just achieved full 'dominion' status and effective self-rule—though it retained its allegiance to the British monarchy and imperial policy. At the same time, the Great Depression ripped through the economy. Unemployment...
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