Don Bradman's bat
This bat was used by Australian batsman Don Bradman during the first Test between England and Australia at Nottingham, England, in 1934.
The inscription on this bat, which is signed by the 1934 English and Australian teams, indicates that Bradman presented the bat to DL Cromb on his or her birthday, but the identity of DL Cromb is a mystery. Photo: George Serras.
The 1933/34 Tests offered the Australian team a chance even the score after the English victory during the controversial 1932/33 'bodyline' series. The English had developed bodyline bowling to contain Australian batsman Don Bradman, so for the 1933 tour, Bradman developed a new style of play. Rather than simply standing his ground and taking what came, he planned to step back from his wicket and play the fast delivery through the off-side.
Bradman's new technique was entertaining but risky, his scores in the first three Tests were modest. Then in the fourth Test, Bradman made 304, and in the fifth and deciding Test, he partnered with Bill Ponsford to make 451 for the second wicket. This partnership remained the world record for any wicket in Test cricket until 1991, and is still the Australian record.
Above: This is Edgar Mayne's Marylebone Cricket Club pass to the 1934 Ashes series played at Lord's. Like most cricketers Mayne had a keen interest in the game long after his playing days. Photo: George Serras.
Above: In 1934, cricket was so popular that tobacco company John Player and Sons brought out a series of cards featuring cricketers. These two show Don Bradman and Bill Ponsford. Ponsford is wearing a Victorian cap and jumper. Courtesy: National Library of Australia, nla.pic-an24669613 and nla.pic-an24679840.
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