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  Sunday, 25 February, 2001, 22:57 GMT
Oliver's memories of Bradman
Sir Donald Bradman steps out with England captain Wally Hammond at Trent Bridge
Sir Don steps out with Wally Hammond at Trent Bridge
Australian broadcaster Neville Oliver tells BBC Sport Online his outstanding memories of the greatest Australian cricketer - Sir Donald Bradman.

The Don was not only the greatest Australian cricketer of all time - he was seen as the greatest Australian who ever lived full stop.

He was a god-like figure and his death will elevate him to saintly proportions in Australia.

Bradman emerged during the Great Depression of the 1930s when Australia was suffering mentally, as well as financially.


He despised the sledging and one-on-one confrontations which have become more prevalent in the modern game
Neville Oliver

He represented the future - the great hope that would guide the country to unprecedented success in Test cricket.

All Australians have grown up with his aura.

Most people thought or think they knew him - even the younger generation who grew up 30 or 40 years after he last picked up a bat in 1949.

But you only need to look at his record to realise why he was held in such high regard by the entire cricketing world.

No modern cricketer can hold a light to his 99.94 Test average.

But even after he retired from the game, he still held enormous influence as an administrator.

Staunch traditionalist

Twice he was chairman of the Australian Cricket Board and he also proved to be a prudent chairman of the selectors, providing inspiration to future captains like Ian Chappell through to Allan Border.

He was keen to talk to people who wanted to seek out his advice, he always made himself available to give help to the people who asked for it.

But one thing Don absolutely detested was the side of the game that has suddenly become fashionable - ungentlemenly conduct.

He was a staunch traditionalist - cricket to him was on a higher plane - and when the Packer years of the late 1970s split the game, it broke his heart.

Australian captain Steve Waugh
Steve Waugh: Bradman is his hero

Cricket suddenly fell into the hands of someone whose only concern was making money out of the game he adored.

He also despised the sledging and one-on-one confrontations which have become more prevalent in the modern game.

One person who will be deeply affected by his death is Steve Waugh.

The current Australian captain is a cricketer who holds enormous reverence for the history of the game.

He owns memorabilia belonging to great Aussie cricketers like Sir Don and Victor Trumper.

Despite the fact that the entire nation will be in mourning, he will turn that sorrow into a positive thing to inspire his side to victory in India.

Sir Donald Bradman dies aged 92

Cricket's loss

A legend mourned

A life at the crease

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See also:

25 Feb 01 | Cricket
25 Feb 01 | Death of Don Bradman
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