Google Doodle is celebrating Sir Donald George Bradman’s 110th birthday. The doodle shows an animation of the Cricket legend playing the cover drive, a shot he was known to play ever so finely.
Born on 27 August 1908 in Cootamundra, Australia, Bradman was a hero of sorts to Australian cricket fans and is arguably revered as the greatest batsman of all time. The Australian had a unique grip and batting stance, through which he achieved a lifetime test batting average of 99.4, which many consider being one of the greatest achievements by any athlete in a sport.
As per the Google blog post, Bradman honed his skills by hitting a golf ball off the base of a water tank, using a cricket stump, which is much narrower than a bat. The ball came back to him fast and at all angles. “I found I had to be pretty quick on my feet and keep my wits about me,” he said, “and in this way, I developed, unconsciously, perhaps, sense of distance and pace.”
Affectionately known as “The Don,” Bradman made his domestic debut in 1927 while only 19 when he went on to score 118 on his very first innings. Such was his consistency that he averaged at least one century every three innings over the course of his 21-year test match career — a career in which the batting maestro amassed a total of 6,996 runs, having played 52 Test matches.
Don Bradman needed only four runs from his final innings to have a Test batting average of 100, but he failed to do so, bowled for a duck by English leg-spinner Eric Hollies.
The Don was so impressive throughout his career that when Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack (or simply Wisden) polled 100 former cricketers and journalists to determine the top cricketers of the 20th century, Bradman was nominated by all 100 members of the panel.
After his retirement from Test cricket in 1949, he remained a fixture in the cricket world as an administrator and commentator. Later that year, Bradman was honoured with a museum during his lifetime, called the “the greatest living Australian” by the Prime Minister and knighted in 1949.