At Nottingham and Leeds, he played fast bowling with a rhetorical slash, a quite wild impetuosity. Now, at Leeds, in a serious hour for Australia, he could summon back at one call the old cool, premeditated craft and foresight.

Nearly 7000 runs in 80 Test innings for an unparalleled average of 99.94, all achieved with a studied grace that bewitched bowlers and crowds alike, made Sir Donald Bradmen, “The Don”, the most acclaimed batsman in cricket’s history.

In Wisden on Bradman, eulogies and critiques of his achievements and times, including the views of Bradman himself, form the background to the most complete study of his career yet in print. With scorecards, match reports and analysis, every first-class performance is given the Wisden treatment–from his century-making Sheffield Shield debut in 1927 to an imperious 123 at his testimonial match 21 years later.

There can be little doubt that Wisden is sport’s most enduring, idiosyncratic and authoritative sporting almanac–over centuries it has set the standard for accurate, evocative sports journalism–and this career overview of one of cricket’s legends will delight and entertain any fan of the game.

Literary and thoughtful, free of the bombast and bluster of so much modern sports writing, this is a real “winter warmer” of a book, recalling the artistry and industry of a sporting great in a golden age of cricket.–Alex Hankin

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