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  Monday, 26 February, 2001, 05:26 GMT
A unique talent
Sir Donald Bradman stands alone at the top of the averages column
Sir Donald Bradman stands alone at the top of the averages column
BBC cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew salutes the sport's greatest hero, Sir Donald Bradman, who died on Sunday, aged 92.

Only a very few sportsmen and women have dominated their sport to the extent that Don Bradman mastered the art of batting.

Had he scored just four runs in his final Test innings he would have finished a remarkable career of 52 tests with an average of exactly 100.

Sharp suited .. and not too bad with the bat either
Sharp suited .. and not too bad with the bat either
As it was, the Don was clearly overcome by the emotional ovation he received at the Oval that day.

The England team gave him three cheers as he approached the wicket and, misty-eyed, he was bowled second ball for a duck.

So, his average stands at 99.94: a mere 39 runs per innings more than the second batsmen in the list, Graeme Pollock. He averaged a Test century in every three innings.

Bodyline, the controversial tactic employed by Douglas Jardine during the 1932/33 tour, was specifically devised to counter Bradman.

By his standards, the Don had a poor series - he averaged only 56 - and he was still playing for Australia 15 years later, aged 40.

Magical moment

I met him once. It was in 1978 and I was a member of the England under 19's touring party that was playing against Australia in Adelaide.

We were suddenly lined up during an official reception and a small, grey haired bespectacled fellow came along the line, shaking our hands. Having not been pre-warned, most of us thought it was the local Mayor!

"Don't tell me", he said, staring up at me. "You're the fast bowler!" It was only later that I discovered he was, in fact, Don Bradman!

We have all seen the old black and white newsreel of the Don, pulling, cutting and driving vigorously.

It is true that modern players might look quizzically at the speed of the bowling on offer - and most certainly have a chuckle at the standard of the fielding.

But, clearly, this was a man who would have dominated the game in any era.

If you want to test the speed of your eye against his, take a golf ball, throw it against a wall, and hit it over and over again with a cricket stump.

This might give modern cricketers just a glimpse of why Don Bradman who, as a boy, practised all day at home in Bowral with his golf ball and stump, was unique - and always will be.

Sir Donald Bradman dies aged 92

Cricket's loss

A legend mourned

A life at the crease

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