Bradman at Blackheath
Author: Ronald Cardwell and Irene McKilligan
Publisher: The Cricket Publishing Company
Rating: 4 stars
By Archie Mac
25 Mar 2012
The question: playing for your local team you bowl one of the best batsman in the world; do you boast about it?
Hell Yeah! Facebook, Twitter, Email, text and most importantly a new thread on Cricket Web: "Who is the most famous batsman you have dismissed?"
Well in 1931 none of these boasting tools were available to Bill Black after he dismissed the 23 year old Don Bradman. Still he managed to tell enough people so eventually via his team's - Blackheath XII - wicketkeeper, his boast that he had Bradman's measure; went back to the young batsman. Unfortunately the wicketkeeper let The Don know while Bill Black was standing on his mark ready to deliver the ball.
Bradman had a habit of letting his bat do the talking when faced with boasting. Arthur Mailey, perhaps the biggest spinning leggie in the history of Test cricket, found this out. On the morning of a charity match, in which the retired Mailey was due to bowl to Bradman in his prime, a newspaper article appeared to the effect that Bradman had never faced a bowler who could spin the ball as much as Mailey, and would therefore struggle.
Mailey despaired; if he knew his man Bradman he would be keen to prove the article writer wrong. Mailey even tried quipping to The Don, before the start of the match, about the insignificance of the article. Bradman smiled and then thrashed Mailey all over the park.
There is no record of whether Bradman replied to Bill Black's wicket keeper, or just flashed him his famous smile. What is known is that he proceeded to score a hundred runs in the next three overs while his partner, NSW batsman Wendell Bill, scored two.
I still think Bill Black did the right thing to boast!
The authors have completed a fine job in producing this little book, providing back ground history of the venue, the players and the reason Bradman was there in the first place. They go onto explain what happened to the bat The Don used during the innings.
At a limited edition of just 200 copies, and for only $22.50, this is a good read and rare collector's edition.
Copies can be procured from friend of CW, cricket book dealer Roger Page, who we are delighted to announce has now fully embraced the world of ecommerce. You can access Roger's site here