Thatscricket - News - Bradman was the greatest batsman ever lived: Fred

Published: Monday, February 26, 2001, 23:53 [IST]
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London: England Test bowling wizard Fred Trueman led the tributes to Australian batting legend Sir Donald Bradman following the announcement of his death aged 92 on Sunday. Trueman, known as Fiery Fred and one of England's finest ever pace bowlers although fortunately for his average he never faced Bradman in a test, claimed it was the passing of a legend. Bradman retired from test cricket in 1948 with a record that is never likely to be challenged. In 52 tests for Australia, Sir Donald amassed 6,996 runs at an average of 99.94 from 80 vists to the crease, with 10 double centuries and two triple centuries among his test knocks. Only a handful of modern cricketers have made more runs - at about half Bradman's average and from twice as many tests. Had World War II not deprived him of his best years, he would doubtless have set yet more records. In all first-class cricket, Bradman scored 28,067 runs at 95.14, including a staggering 117 centuries, 31 double centuries, five triple centuries and one innings of 400-plus. He was possibly the greatest batsman who ever lived,'' Trueman said. I found him to be a great friend and a very nice man and when I went to Australia I used to go and see him and became very friendly with him. I would love to have had the great honour of bowling against him that would have been marvellous. He was a wonderful man and it a passing of a legend.'' When asked if he thought anyone could ever surpass Bradman's status in the world game, Trueman said: I would not have thought so, never again or before. He was simply the best and I am very sad.'' Former England captain Brian Close pinpointed another quality in the modest Bradman's character. He was never overpowering with his deeds, he was meek in some ways and did not thrust it down people's throat. Today's players could learn a lot from him. It is a sad day for cricket in general because he was so well liked and looked up to,'' added the former England opener. Another icon of English test cricket former umpire Dickie Bird agreed that Bradman's feats will never be matched. No-one will get near that average,'' he said. The Bodyline series will always be remembered but you also have to say that he skippered the Australian side in 1948 and that was possibly the best Test side which has ever played the game. He was a wonderful player, who seemed to caress the ball. He was a genius,'' Bird added. Former England skipper Mike Gatting also joined in the compliments. He was the greatest player of his generation, there is no doubt about that,'' said Gatting. People used to write in for autographs from him long after he retired from playing. He made a lot of people very happy. I hope he will be remembered for the great player he was. Wisden recognised him as one of the five greatest players in history and his average proves that beyond doubt. No-one scored so freely again. He seemed to be ahead of his time by such a long way. He was a very gifted player,'' he added. Copyright AFP 2000Extras:
Bradman: End of a legendary era

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