That series was still some time away. In between there was a happy interlude. On April 30, 1932 Don Bradman married Jessie Menzies, the young lady he had set his heart on years earlier. They had an extended honeymoon, sailing for North America in May with an Australian side managed by former leg-spinner Arthur Mailey.
The team played as many as 51 matches in 75 days. Bradman scored 260 against 18 men of Western Ontario, the highest on Canadian soil for the next 50 years. A week later he blasted an unbeaten 200 off the Montreal-14. Bradman not only amassed 3779 runs at an average of 102.10, but also captured 189 wickets at 6 runs apiece with his leg-breaks. During their visit to New York, Bradman met the don of baseball ‘Babe’ Ruth at the Yankee Stadium, a memorable coming together of champions, preserved for posterity by the click of the photographer’s camera.
They were back home in Australia in October just before the MCC team led by Douglas Jardine arrived. There was much more serious business to attend to now.
Bradman’s stunning success in the 1930 series in England brought him attractive offers to play as a professional in the Lancashire League. One of these was from Accrington club who were willing to pay him ₤ 1050 per season, but it would have meant that he would not be able to play Test cricket for Australia.
Considering the turbulence of the Great Depression, Bradman was faced with a dilemma, unable to reject this promise of security outright. Fortunately for him, and for cricket fans, an opportunity presented itself in Sydney. In this arrangement he would write for The Sun newspaper under the tutelage of Johnny Moyes, broadcast for Radio 2UE, and undertake promotional activities for the department store owned by F.J. Palmer. Bradman stayed put in Australia to continue adding several enthralling chapters to his unique legend.
(Author Indra Vikram Singh can be contacted on email firstname.lastname@example.org).
‘Don’s Century’, published by Sporting Links, ISBN 978-81-901668-5-0.
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