13 June, 2021

The Royal Coming

The Royal Coming
He had fans all over the world, but after Australia, the most mail Bradman received was from India. He had great goodwill for Indian cricket thanks to the visit of Lala Amarnath's team to Australia in 1947-48. While the Aussie captain in his last home series plundered runs at will, the Indians made no secret of their hero-worship for the Don. Michael Page, writer of Bradman: The Illustrated Biography, described it as "perhaps the happiest and most pleasant Test tour in the history of cricket."

Though he only played Test cricket abroad in England during his 20-year career, the Australians would traditionally make a stopover in Colombo. It was on one of these trips—in 1948—that the ship stopped over in Bombay after Colombo. But, as he explains in his book Farewell to Cricket, Bradman became ill after playing in Colombo's oppressive heat. He says he got out of bed to attend a "small function" at which bcci president Anthony De Mello made presentations to the team. "He made a speech as did Peter (Pankaj) Gupta and Vijay Merchant; hasty replies were made as the boat was about...

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