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No duck on menu at Bradman bash

By Nick Bryant
BBC News, Sydney

Donald Bradman
Bradman needed to score just four runs in his final test to average 100

An unusual lunch has been held in Sydney as part of the celebrations marking the centenary of the birth of Australian cricketer Donald Bradman.

Australia will officially mark the centenary on 27 August.

But some of his former team-mates have held a lunch three weeks early to mark another symbolic landmark - the day he would have been 99.94 years old.

There is an important reason why his fans got together early - 99.94 was Bradman's test batting average.

Had the great Don scored just four runs in his final international appearance at the Oval in 1948, he would have ended his career with an average of 100 - the only cricketer ever to come close to achieving that remarkable statistical feat.

So near

As it was, he made an uncharacteristic error, was deceived by a googly and suffered the crushing disappointment of being out for a duck - scoring no runs at all.

Donald Bradman
Australia will mark the centenary of Bradman's birth on 27 August

As a result, and as virtually every Australian cricket fan can tell you, Bradman ended instead with an average of 99.94, the great "so-near-but-so-far" of cricketing history.

Among the former players present at Sunday's lunch was Arthur Morris, the Australian batsman at the non-striker's end when Bradman was bowled out during that final test.

Though Morris went on to score 196, all that most people remember is Bradman's infamous nought.

Bradman died in his sleep at his home in Adelaide after a short illness in 2001, aged 92.

It was intended that there would be 99 guests at the lunch, each paying A$99 ($92).

But in the end the celebration was over-subscribed and, suffice to say, duck did not feature on the menu.


SEE ALSO
Updating the Don
02 Oct 06 |  Australia
Bradman dies at 92
26 Feb 01 |  Death of Don Bradman
Tributes pour in for Bradman
26 Feb 01 |  Death of Don Bradman
A unique talent
26 Feb 01 |  Death of Don Bradman


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