It might have been England’s Eric Hollies, who dismissed Donald Bradman for a duck in the final innings of his Test career, but former Australia teammate, Neil Harvey, blames himself for Bradman’s failure to achieve the batting average of 100.
Widely regarded as the greatest batsman the game has ever seen, Bradman required just four runs in his last innings to finish with a batting average of 100, but eventually ended with 99.94 – which till date remains way above any other batsman.
It has been over 70 years, but Harvey still feels guilty of denying Bradman the chance of accomplishing the statistical perfection.
In the penultimate match of the five-match series, which was also the second last game of Bradman’s career, at Headingley, he was batting on 173 when Harvey walked out to bat and did what we was supposed to – won the match by hitting a boundary on the only ball he faced.
“That four at Leeds makes me feel very guilty. It’s entirely my fault Bradman didn’t average 100 in Test cricket. If he would’ve scored those four runs instead of me, he’d have got there,” Harvery, who will turn 90 on Monday, told Sydney Morning Herald.
Harvey, the last surviving member of Bradman’s ‘Invincibles’, was at that time completely unaware of what would unfold in Bradman’s final Test.
“I’m quite willing to take the blame. But I didn’t know he was going to get a duck in his last Test match … Nobody knew Bradman needed four runs at Leeds; nobody knew he needed four runs when he played in his last Test at the Oval. Statistics were never mentioned back then; there was no television and no one in the press seemed to know.