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Sir Donald Bradman lost a record at the Gabba last week, when Alastair Cook took his highest score at the ground, but another one still lives in the collection of Sir Tim Rice. Rice, the man who provided lyrics to Andrew Lloyd Webber’s music, had lunch with Bradman in Adelaide 30 years ago and they swapped stories about their shared interests.
“He was a talented musician,” Rice said. “He wrote songs as well, but piano was his instrument. I’ve got in my collection a 78rpm record of Sir Donald playing a couple of pieces and it’s great. It was recorded back in 1930.”
Rice, a former president of MCC, is a cricket lover who will deliver the eighth Bradman Oration on Thursday night. The annual speech is designed to keep alive the name of Bradman, who died in 2001. “It’s about linking aspects of music with cricket, and also about how I got into cricket and how much Australia means to me,” Rice said.
When the musical Evita, which was written by Rice, opened in Australia in 1980 he invited Bradman to the opening night. “He didn’t want to come, or couldn’t,” Rice said, “but very graciously invited me to lunch, which was much better.”