Originally published 40 years ago, this is the definitive record of the extraordinary career of Don Bradman, statistically the finest batsman ever to have played cricket. Unfortunately for the Don, however, he has become just that–a statistic. More famous than the 117 first-class centuries he hit between 1927 and 1949–among them 452 not out against Queensland and 334 against England (at the time the highest marks in both first-class and Test cricket) is his career average of 99.94 in Tests. Needing just four runs in his final appearance to end with an average of over 100 he was bowled second ball for nought.

It is this spirit which is recreated in Bradman the Great; the story is of the run-machine rather than the man. The result is rather prosaic and figure-intensive, but it does represent a complete record of Bradman’s career, warts and all, with brief resumes on each of his 234 first-class matches. On every page, it seems, some record–often his own–is broken.

Trends, seasons, and performances at particular venues–both home and abroad–are detailed, helping to create an authoritative reference work on a man who, since his retirement half a century ago has become, if anything, even more of a mystery. –Thrasy Petropoulos

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