Hero Worship Hero WorshipRSS FeedFeeds
Cricketers on their idols

Peter Pollock on Don Bradman

The godfather

The greatest cricketer ever, and a down-to-earth human being

Nagraj Gollapudi

Text size: A | A

Don Bradman in his stance, 23rd March 1938
Bradman: "very helpful, very humble" © Getty Images
Related Links

My first hero was Sir Donald Bradman, back in the 1940s. We had an old Aussie cap - my dad had got it somehow - and when my brother Graeme and I played cricket on our back lawn, we used to wear it while batting. Bradman was the ultimate hero, and Australia represented what was best in world cricket. As little kids, our ultimate dream was to beat Australia.

There were other heroes as well, among them Frank Tyson, who had a wonderful tour of Australia in 1954-55. Years later Bradman told me that he reckoned Tyson was the fastest bowler he had seen. I also liked Ray Lindwall, who I saw play in the first Test match I went to watch, in 1949.

As a youngster, before I eventually became a fast bowler, I was an opening batsman. Ridiculously enough, when my brother first came into our school's first team, he batted No. 8 or 9 and I was the opener. So naturally Bradman was a hero, and that never changed. His skills and results impressed me a lot. When I met him for the first time, in 1963 on South Africa's tour, I found him very helpful and very humble. One evening he showed Graeme and me pictures of the Bodyline series. It was such an experience.

To me, great players dominate the game - they go out there and make their presence felt. Bradman dominated the opposition. The fact that his legend has survived all these years is proof enough.

As told to Nagraj Gollapudi. This article was first published in the print version of Cricinfo Magazine

RSS Feeds: Nagraj Gollapudi

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Email Feedback Print
Nagraj GollapudiClose

    What is Rohit Sharma's role?

Should India have practised slip catching in the nets? Who will play at the G?

    'I'd like to have faced the West Indies quicks'

Northamptonshire's David Willey picks his ideal partner for a jungle expedition, and talks about his famous dad

    Benn shows up in body and spirit

Tony Cozier: The spinner has brought in a sense of discipline into his bowling and behaviour on the field since his Test comeback

    The return of Bob Simpson

Rewind: When the 41-year-old former captain came out of retirement to lead Australia against India

Bowling to blame for India's poor overseas record

Kartikeya Date: The inability to build pressure by denying runs, even on helpful pitches, is India's biggest problem

News | Features Last 7 days

What ails Rohit and Watson?

Both batsmen seemingly have buckets of talent at their disposal and the backing of their captains, but soft dismissals relentlessly follow both around the Test arena

The perfect Test

After the tragedy of Phillip Hughes' death, this match showed that cricket and life will continue to go on. This time Test cricket dug in and got through to tea.

Hazlewood completes quartet of promise

Josh Hazlewood has been on Australian cricket's radar since he was a teenager. The player that made a Test debut at the Gabba was a much-improved version of the tearaway from 2010

Australia in good hands under proactive Smith

The new stand-in captain has the makings of a long-term leader, given his ability to stay ahead of the game

Karn struggles to stay afloat

The failed gamble of handing Karn Sharma a Test debut despite him having a moderate first-class record means India have to rethink who their spinner will be

News | Features Last 7 days