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Don Bradman in England (1930)

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Don Bradman in England education content clip 1

This clip chosen to be PG

Clip description

Don Bradman is interviewed in 1930 while on tour in England. It is an informal interview, with Bradman talking casually as he puts on his cricket jumper and jacket.

Bradman discusses the dull light in England, his cricket ambitions, Jack Hobbs and his wish to return to England after the tour.

We gain insights into Bradman’s abilities such as his extraordinary stamina, which he attributes to abstinence from cigarettes and alcohol, rather than an innate ability.

Bradman also demonstrates his batting techniques, offering verbal tips.

Curator’s notes

This interview with Don Bradman would most likely have been edited into a newsreel and screened at the cinema.

Teacher’s notes

provided by The Le@rning FederationEducation Services Australia

This black-and-white film shows Australian cricketer Don Bradman at the age of 21, speaking to an interviewer before a match during the 1930 Ashes series in England. Bradman discusses the tour and describes how the Australian cricket team has had to adjust to the different conditions in England. He responds to a question about his cricketing ambitions by explaining that he does what is best for his team, and then attributes his physical fitness to a healthy lifestyle. The film also includes Bradman demonstrating his batting technique.

Educational value points

  • The clip features Australian cricketer Sir Donald Bradman (1908–2001), regarded as the world’s greatest-ever batsman. Bradman was a member of the Australian cricket team from 1928 until 1948, and captained the team in 1936–38 and 1946–48. In the 80 innings of his Test cricket career, Bradman scored 29 centuries, 12 double centuries and two triple centuries. He finished with a career total of 6,996 Test runs at an average of 99.94. He was knighted in 1949 for services to cricket, and in 1979 was awarded the Companion of the Order of Australia (Australia’s highest civil honour).
  • Bradman excelled during the 1930 Ashes series, his first overseas cricket tour. He made 974 runs at an average of 139.14, an outstanding batting performance that enabled Australia to regain the Ashes by a 2–1 margin, even though England had been favoured to win. In the clip, Bradman is dressed in the cricket whites, baggy green cap and blazer that are still the basis of the Australian Test match uniform.
  • The Ashes is a biennial series of cricket Test matches between Australia and England. The name dates from 1882, when Australia beat England at cricket for the first time, and the next day a humorous report appeared in the Sporting Times stating that English cricket had died, the body would be cremated and the ashes taken to Australia. The Australians replied with a small urn filled with the ashes of a pair of bails. The original urn is housed in the Marylebone Cricket Club’s museum at Lord’s Cricket Ground in London, where it stays no matter which country has currently 'won’ it.
  • Known fondly as 'the Don’, Bradman was Australia’s greatest sporting hero in the 1930s and 1940s and his batting exploits lifted the nation’s spirits during a period of economic depression. As the clip suggests, he was the focus of strong media interest. During the 1930 Ashes series, Bradman’s account of the tour was serialised in Australian newspapers (and later published in book form), and Jack O’Hagan composed the song 'Our Don Bradman’, which included the line 'Who is it that all Australia raves about?’
  • Bradman is shown expressing his lack of interest in breaking records. He was renowned for his humility, despite breaking records in both first-class and Test cricket, including the record of English batsman Jack Hobbs (whom he praises in the clip). Hobbs was a prolific run scorer who made 5,410 Test runs and 15 Test centuries.
  • Though no other batsman has come close to matching Bradman’s Test average of 99.94 runs, the low-key physical regimen that Bradman describes is nothing like the intense match preparation that contemporary Test cricketers undergo in the fully professional sport it is today.
  • Bradman is shown demonstrating batting strokes; his technique is regarded as almost flawless. He was known for decisive and powerful strokes, quick footwork and judgement, and an ability to 'see the ball’ well. As a young boy he refined his technique by throwing a golf ball against the brick base of a water tank and hitting it with a cricket stump. During the 1930 Ashes series Neville Cardus, an English journalist, described one of Bradman’s innings as 'beautiful and yet somehow cruel in its excessive mastery’ (in.rediff.com).
  • As indicated by the clip, English and Australian cricket pitches (wickets) differ. Australian pitches tend to be clay-based and baked hard by the sun. While this type of pitch is good to bat on, it also favours fast bowlers, as the ball moves faster off the pitch and bounces higher. The ball moves more slowly on English loam-based pitches, which tends to aid 'seam’ bowlers, as does England’s higher atmospheric humidity.
  • This footage may have been used in a newsreel. In the 1930s, newsreels were issued weekly and were shown in cinemas before the feature film. They were a chief source of news prior to the introduction of television and daily television news broadcasts in 1956. In 1930, 'live’ coverage of the Ashes Test matches was broadcast on Australian radio using cabled reports that gave a ball-by-ball account, with the announcers tapping a pencil on the microphone to simulate the sound of bat hitting ball. However, newsreels provided the only visual reporting of the series.

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  • The National Film and Sound Archive’s permission must be sought to amend any information in the materials, unless otherwise stated in notices throughout the Site.

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ANY UNAUTHORISED USE OF MATERIAL ON THIS SITE MAY RESULT IN CIVIL AND CRIMINAL LIABILITY.

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