A visit to Bowral, home of the Don

With a wide range of memorabilia, the Bradman Museum and International Cricket Hall of Fame provides insight into the life and times of Sir Donald Bradman.

Bradman Museum

Visitors at the Bradman Museum and International Cricket Hall of Fame are greeted by a life-size statue of ‘The Don’ - a popular photo spot.   -  Ashwin Achal

The inspiring story of the ‘Boy from Bowral’ is exquisitely captured at the Bradman Museum and International Cricket Hall of Fame here.

With a unique and wide range of memorabilia and photographs, the museum provides insight into the life and times of legendary Australian cricketer Sir Donald Bradman.

Visitors are greeted by a life-size statue of ‘The Don’ - a popular photo spot. Among the prized memorabilia is Bradman’s first cricket bat, which he received at the age of 12. Bradman used the bat for nearly five seasons, and needless to say, he scored a ton of runs with it (including a triple century in senior-level cricket).

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The collection of photographs, which ranges from popular portraits of his ‘Invincibles’ Australian team of 1948 to more obscure ones of his amateur wrestling days, is impressive.

Bradman Museum curator Andrew Summerell explained that there is a strong Indian interest in the venue. “We get around 30,000 visitors per year, a large number of whom are of Indian origin. Indians know cricket history and statistics inside out; their knowledge is amazing.

Indians are quite proud of the fact that Sir Don once compared Sachin Tendulkar’s batting style to his own. That was a viral statement of the time (1996),” Summerell said.

Summerell fondly recalled Tendulkar's visit to the museum in 2014, when he was greeted by students from Bowral Public School, Bradman's alma mater.

Apart from Bradman memorabilia, the museum also contains other items of interest like jerseys and caps worn by former and current international cricketers. A dedicated and bigger section on women’s cricket will be opened soon, Summerell said.

The adjacent Bradman Oval cricket ground is where Bradman honed his batting skills. On Saturday, the quaint heritage-listed ground hosted a women’s exhibition match between Bradman XI and FairBreak Global XI.

Former Australian batter Alex Blackwell and Pakistan international Sana Mir were a couple of the popular names seen in action.

The museum entry fee is 20 Australian dollars.

(The writer is in Bowral on invitation from Destination NSW)

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