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Welcome to the world of immortals

It's one of the most venerated places for cricket pilgrims and houses the Don Bradman museum, attracting many. Atreyo Mukhopadhyay reports.

cricket Updated: Jan 23, 2008 16:33 IST
Atreyo Mukhopadhyay
Atreyo Mukhopadhyay
Hindustan Times

A trip to the main city of South Australia remains incomplete without a visit to the State Library in the North Terrace area, not far from the Adelaide Oval. It's one of the most venerated places for cricket pilgrims and houses the Don Bradman museum, attracting hundreds of visitors everyday.

Situated on the ground floor of the two-storeyed building, the museum isn't huge, but given what it has, it leaves the onlooker awestruck, the enormity of the small things on display taking time to sink in. It's difficult to believe that these are actually the objects which occupy an immortal place in cricket history.

An enlargement of a photograph taken during the third Test of the Bodyline series played here in 1933 welcomes the visitors and a note next to it informs that most of the articles were donated to the museum by the great man himself, who described the collection as ‘probably the most highly prized private cricket memorabilia in the world’.

There are many rare photographs including one showing boy Bradman with family dog Teddy and another showing the grownup man in army uniform. There is also a rarely seen shot of his last dismissal in Test cricket - the batsman looking back at the stumps after being bowled by Eric Hollies for zero at The Oval in August, 1948.

On one of the walls, there's a huge glass panel where many of the bats used by the legend of legends can be seen and given the occasions they were used in, they can well be called the most precious pieces of willow in the world. The one that fetched Bradman his first Test century is there along with the ones he used during his 100 th first-class century, his highest Test score of 334 and the then world record first-class score o 452.

There are also some caps, pads, gloves, blazers and jumpers used by him from time to time including the baggy green worn by him in his first Test series. A small collection of non-cricketing items adds another dimension to the place and among other things, features the portable type writer he used to reply fan mails and the tape recorder he preferred for recording speeches.

Just outside, the city looks glittering with all modern amenities and tucked in a corner inside the State Library, time stands still in a few rooms full with objects used many decades ago. Entry is free and the museum is open seven days a week barring public holidays. It doesn't take long to take a look at the place, but the memories stay, may be for ever.