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Unknown Aussie buys Bradman's "inauspicious" debut bat for 145,000 dollars

Melbourne, Sept 25 : The bat with which cricket's all time great Sir Don Bradman made his debut in 1928 against England, fetched 145,000 Australian dollars at an auction last evening.

"This is a record price for a cricket bat and there were several bidders, all of them within Australia, hoping to win the auction," said a spokeswoman for Melbourne's Leski Auctions.

With the bat Bradman could score only 18 and 1 in the two innings, and was subsequently dropped after the inauspicious debut. Later, he donated the bat to a competition run by a Sydney newspaper to raise money for a children's hospital.

The bat, subsequently purchased by an undisclosed Australian buyer, was signed by the entire 1928-29 Australian team as well as the English team which won the series 4-1.

Bradman, regarded as the greatest cricketer ever, died in 2001 aged 92 and played his last innings nearly 70 years ago. He retired with a Test batting average of 99.94.

He scored 28,067 first-class runs at an average of 95.14 and 6,996 runs in 52 Tests with 29 centuries and a highest score of 334. He needed four runs in his last Test innings, against England at The Oval, London, in 1948 to end his Test career with an average of 100 but was dismissed without scoring.

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Story first published: Thursday, September 25, 2008, 12:50 [IST]
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