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20th March 2017, 18:03 #1Junior Player
- Mar 2017
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Don Bradman: Deserving of his praise in the 21st century?
The recent "100 Greatest Cricketers" list from Sky got me thinking. Bradman is consistently ranked as one of the top 2 cricketers of all time (it's normally between him and Sobers) and personally, I have no problem with him being placed in ATG lists but that high? All the time? THAT does not sit well with me.
First of all, I'm always a bit sceptical when comparing across eras but I feel from 1950 beyond, there are more comparisons to be made and the game truly came into its own. In the age of Bradman, there was only one tour to England (vice versa for the English to Australia). There may have been the odd trip to South Africa or India which were given first class status but these were largely against teams with few facilities and few players of world class pedigree.
In terms of Bradman himself, he only played in tow territories, at home and in England. His opposition included England, a world class team but then the Bangladesh of their day, South Africa and India. At no point did Bradman have to contend with the long, hot Indian days or the rank turners we see today. At no point did he have to deal with the sheer physical toll and high altitude of some South African locations.
So how does he get to be ranked above players who travelled and performend world wide, the likes of Ponting his compatriot, or Tendulkar or Imran Khan or Richards or Sobers or Akram or Lara?