September 23, 2012

Australian cricket

The war Bradman was determined to win

George Binoy

An extract from Malcolm Knox's book Bradman's War in the Sydney Morning Herald describes how England and Australia cricketers who fought in World War II wanted to play the game in a friendlier manner. Don Bradman had not gone into battle and he had different ideas.

During the 1948 ''Invincibles'' tour, Don Bradman had a running battle with his star all-rounder, Keith Miller. Twice during the Test series, when Bradman threw Miller the ball to bowl, Miller threw it back, refusing. In the dressing room at Lord's, the bickering went on, and Jack Fingleton, covering the tour, was told that Bradman ''grumbled apropos of Miller not bowling''.

''I don't know what's up with you chaps,'' Bradman said. ''I'm 40 and I can do my full day's work in the field.'' To which Miller allegedly replied: ''So would I - if I had fibrositis during the war!''

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George Binoy is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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