Donald Bradman was undoubtedly the greatest cricketer in history. But which other ten should be picked alongside him to make up the world’s all time great eleven? That’s the question that author Roland Perry poses in Bradman’s Best, and to much hype it was the question he put to The Don in the years before his death. Bradman’s alleged selection certainly raises a few eyebrows. Clearly an Australian-centric choice – surely not every observer would agree with the selections of Arthur Morris, Don Tallon and Clarrie Grimmett – the side also draws heavily on The Don’s own era. Indian master batsman Sachin Tendulkar is the only representative of the modern game. There is no place for any of today’s all conquering Aussie heroes, even Shane Warne, to whom the selector prefers pre-war Australian spinners Bill O’Reilly and Grimmett, the former despite years of well-publicised personal ill-feeling between the two.

Whatever the vagaries of the selection, it all makes for a compulsive read. Perry astutely interweaves his account of the career of each player with Bradman’s views, and also, where possible, places the choice in the context of The Don as player, selector or onlooker. In particular, the chapters on Barry Richards and Garry Sobers make fascinating reading, the former for the record of the often overlooked amazing batting feats including a triple-hundred in a day for South Australia, and the latter for the recognition of the genius of the man, Bradman himself reckoning Sobers ‘the best cricketer of all time’. Surely, though, he would have to get past the Don to attain that accolade. –Trevor Crowe

Bradman’s Best



1 Comment

  1. Nigel Bishop says:

    Being of a young age, the opportunity to actually watch ‘the Don’ has never come my way, but I certainly do enjoy my cricket and have had the opportunity to discuss greats like him with the ‘Older Generation’! When I read The Times, the day when he released his ‘World Team’ I was thrilled to learn of his book. I bought it immediatly, and dived straight in. The book was divided up into chapters first concerning the Selector, then the team and then detailed explanation’s of each player in his team. The book continually added to my cricketing knowledge and by the time I was finished past times in cricket had been hammered into my head!
    Rating: 5 / 5

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