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'My personal celebration with the Don'

 

Don Bradman with Warne & Tendulkar

Yesterday afternoon I spent an hour with two great cricketers. One was Sachin Tendulkar, the best batsman in the contemporary game, and the other the greatest batsman of all time, Sir Donald Bradman.  Sachin had been keen to meet Sir Donald for quite a while and when his visit was arranged, Sir Donald wondered whether I might be able to come along, too. How could anyone refuse that request?

We travelled to Sir Donald's house together and we were both nervous as we approached. As you hear from so many people who meet him, there was no need for nerves. He was very friendly, relaxed, mentally as sharp as ever and even threw in a few good one-liners, although I can't really remember them now, probably because I was trying too hard to take it all in.

Sir Donald was dressed casually while Sachin and I were in suits, almost identical suits as it happened.  Basically, it was pretty much three cricketers sitting around chatting about the game they play and love. It was just that one of them was the greatest genius to play that game.

Sachin and I spent an hour with Sir Donald in the lounge room of his Adelaide home chatting about cricket and other things.  Sir Donald said he thought the standard of modern cricket was very high, that he thought Sachin the best batsman around at the moment and the closest in style to the way he played.   Understandably, Sachin was very honored by that.

Sachin asked two main questions of Sir Donald: what his movements were just before the bowler delivered the ball and how he prepared for a game. First, Sir Donald said he moved back and across to the off-side before delivery because he felt from there he could move quickly in any direction.

His answer to the second question was amazing and showed the changes that have come over the game since he was playing. Sir Donald said he prepared for a day's play by going to work at the office for a couple of hours. After the day's cricket, he would go back to work.

As we left Sir Donald's place to drive to the Adelaide Oval for an TV interview to be screened tonight on A Current Affair, Sachin told me it was the greatest day of his life. We were both thrilled at the privilege and honor to spend a little time with the greatest cricketer of all time.