A National Icon
A National Icon
During the Great Depression or the early 1930's, Sir Donald helped lift national pride through his cricketing achievements and in doing so lifted people’s spirits. His positive, flowing and rapid batting were a joy to behold. This is probably his greatest legacy along with raising the profile of Australia internationally amongst cricket playing nations.
At the time a higher proportion of the Australian population watched cricket live and listened to it on the radio and there were fewer other past-times to distract people. Bradman was a phenomenon and broke many long-standing cricket records in 1930. He was young, good-looking, respectful, eager and modest. In addition he almost single-handedly won back the Ashes from England when it was expected that England would win. This made Australians feel immensely proud that a young man (he was only 20) from the 'bush' could take on England, the home of cricket, and win. By focussing the nation’s mind on how this country lad could seemingly effortlessly make mother England look incompetent, he freed Australian’s from the mindset that they were somehow a poor colonial outpost. In this way he helped us to identify ourselves squarely and proudly as Australians.
Respect for him transcended the sporting arena. Shortly before he retired from cricket he became a much admired speaker, witty, intelligent and insightful who held very high principles. He believed in respect for one's parents, a high sense of duty to one's roles be they as a parent, husband, worker, sportsman or cricket administrator. Despite the incessant adulation he received throughout his entire life Bradman remained unswervingly true to these values.