Don Bradman’s childhood cricket pitch under threat to make way for housing development


There’s a concrete slab in Bowral which is ready to look unassuming, nonetheless it holds a excessive place in Australian historic earlier.

Southern Highlands locals say that is Sir Don Bradman’s childhood cricket pitch, the place the boy from Bowral first fell in love with the game.

“It is the important state of affairs to unlocking his highschool cricket years and affords context to the rise of Don Bradman in a metropolis steeped in cricketing folklore,” researcher Nick Corbett talked about.

It was on the schoolyard pitch subsequent to the church that his prodigious expertise was groomed.

“He obtained acceptable right acceptable acceptable right correct proper right here all by acceptable acceptable right acceptable acceptable right correct proper right here with the varsity crew and the headmaster they usually furthermore furthermore carried out scratch matches each Wednesday afternoon,” Mr Corbett talked about.

These schoolyard hits contained contained contained in the 1920s gave rise to Bradman’s unbeaten Try widespread of 99.94. To correct this second, the following most attention-grabbing is contained contained contained in the 60s.

The pitch was laid in 1892 by the Bowral Cricket Affiliation and was closed to most people in 2014.

An old image of the Bowral Cricket AssociationAn old image of the Bowral Cricket Association
A picture of native Bowral cricketers, together with Don Bradman’s cousin Jim Cupitt (left, kneeling).(Outfitted: Bernadette Mahoney)

As shortly as further contained contained contained in the 1990s, one among Bradman’s faculty mates shared his account of being in awe of his expertise.

“I carried out cricket with Don Bradman, we carried out behind the Church of England there,” childhood pal Harry Smith talked about in 1994.

“Now we have now obtained been right contained contained contained in the outfield. Bradman would hit one there and likewise you’d run over and he’d beat you to the boundary. Bradman was all by you.”

A woman smiles for the camera in a study surrounded by books.A woman smiles for the camera in a study surrounded by books.
Bernadette Mahoney pictured at Donald Bradman’s childhood dwelling in Bowral.(ABC Information: Chloe Hart)

Historian Bernadette Mahoney has interviewed pretty different of Bradman’s household and mates.

“Classmate Jim Brenning educated me the very same tales as Harry Smith. After they carried out the Mittagong faculty in a contest Bradman bought so many runs the choice headmaster launched that they’d play Bowral Public College as quickly as further — nonetheless outfitted that Bradman did not play,” she talked about.

Pitch set to be redeveloped

One among many best strategies forward for the historic pitch, nonetheless, seems bleak on account of a proposed residential enchancment.

A sign sits on a fence.A sign sits on a fence.
The Wingecaribee Shire Council is opposing the event of the positioning.(ABC Information: Chloe Hart)

Builders should assemble 13 townhouses on the positioning.

The Wingecaribee Shire Council now opposes the redevelopment of the 19th-century wicket on Edward Avenue in Bowral.

“As shortly on account of the importance of the cricket pitch was established, [the] council proceeded to heritage itemizing the positioning, which occurred in April 2017,” a Wingecaribee Shire Council spokesman talked about.

“The Bowral concrete cricket pitch is uncommon, not solely inside Wingecarribee nonetheless contained all by the use of the state, and together with terribly most undoubtedly carried out on by Sir Donald Bradman as a toddler.”

Nonetheless builders are pushing forward, taking the matter to the Land and Ambiance Courtroom docket, and the commissioner shall be on web site for mediation on the tip of September.

An aerial view of the cricket pitch used by Don Bradman during his childhood in Bowral on September 17, 2020.An aerial view of the cricket pitch used by Don Bradman during his childhood in Bowral on September 17, 2020.
There are hopes the cricket pitch shall be preserved.(ABC Information: Elena de Bruijne)

The passionate cricket group is apprehensive necessary slice of Australian sporting historic earlier might presumably be misplaced.

“Given its historic earlier and significance, I’d assume there’s a sturdy case for suing the individuals who made the making use of to assemble on the land for a felony offense all by the use of the trail of Australian cultural heritage,” English TV presenter and cricket creator Michael Parkinson talked about.

Parkinson laughed when he heard it was matter to redevelopment.

“Its significance is of worldwide significance contained contained contained in the historic earlier of the sport and the lifetime of the appropriate batsman of all of them,” he talked about.

“There’s not going to often have been an extra insensitive, ignorant utility in any planning utility of my expertise.”

Michael Parkinson wears a checked suit, blue shirt and glasses.Michael Parkinson wears a checked suit, blue shirt and glasses.
Michael Parkinson says the pitch has historic significance.(ABC Information: Shaun Kingma)

Ms Mahoney agrees the remnant must be preserved.

Mr Corbett talked about future generations might query the choice to not defend the positioning.

“It’d very effectively be terribly devastating, in years to return of us will ask us why — why did we let that go, it is a really wished web site.”

Conserving the Bradman legend alive

Don Bradman doing batting practiceDon Bradman doing batting practice
A picture of Don Bradman believed to have been taken in 1932.(Outfitted: Sam Hood)

Cricket continues to be an infinite a part of the Southern Highlands provides, and vacationers come from in all places to go to Bradman’s dwelling metropolis.

“It is fantastic to see how fairly just a few the subcontinent firm come to Bowral as a cricket mecca, so it really is someplace on the cricketing map that we have now now to promote and defend and are very keen about,” Bowral resident and former Try umpire, Simon Taufel, talked about.

Supporters take into accounts the pitch might flip into an ensemble with the Bradman Oval and museum, and his shut by childhood dwelling on Sheppard Avenue.

Ms Mahoney has an thought-about her non-public to assist the legacy stick with it.

“I envisage this pitch being saved, the land planted with a yard and an dwelling the place anybody can come and quietly attempt what occurred,” she talked about.



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