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Don Bradman's bat

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.

A cricket bat, photographed in a horizontal position against a plain white background. Its handle is to the left of the photo. The back of the bat is visible. The handle has a black rubber cover on it. The rubber has a small split in it at the end of the handle. There are signatures on the back of the bat. A circular red mark is visible near the upper right corner of the bat's back. The grain of the bat's timber can be seen running along the length of the bat.

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.

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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.

Two views of a red-covered booklet. The left side view shows the booklet fully open, with its cover presented to the camera. Each corner of the cover has the year '1934' embossed on it in gold numbers. The left side of the cover shows an embossed gold crest with a kangaroo and lion either side of an urn. The right side of the cover has an embossed gold logo that has the the letters m, c and c in an overlapping pattern. The top right and left corners of the cover have an eyelet hole in them. The right side view of the booklet shows two pages. These pages show matches for the months of May, June, July and August. At the bottom of the left page is a signature and a membership number. At the bottom of the right page is another signature and two four digit telephone numbers.

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.

Two cards with illustrations of a male cricketer on each. The left card shows the head and shoulders of a cricketer wearing the baggy green cap of the Australian Test team. He is wearing a white cricket shirt with an upturned collar. He smiles at the viewer in a friendly manner. The right card also shows the head and shoulders of another cricketer. He wears the baggy blue cap of the Victorian state cricket team. He wears a v-necked cricket jumper with a blue v pattern around the neck. His expression is more reserved and pensive. Each illustration is on a pale background and appears to have been done in either pastels or coloured pencils. The words 'Player's cigarettes' is at the top of each card. Under the left illustration is 'D. G. Bradman (N. S. Wales)' while under the right is 'W. H. Ponsford (Victoria)'.

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.