One of Sir Donald Bradman’s favourite Test match bats sold at an auction in Adelaide yesterday for $110,000.
Auctioneers du Plessis said it was “very rare” for a Bradman bat with such historical significance to be put on market.
The “heavily-used” bat was used by Bradman to score 112 runs for Australia against South Africa in the Second Test in Sydney in the 1931-32 series.
It is signed by the Australian and South African teams of that match, as well as England and Australia from The Bodyline Series, Australia and England from 1936-37, and by India 1947.
It was also a favourite bat of Bradmans’, having spent almost 10 years in his kit.
He even inscribed it with “Don Bradman Private,” something he always did this with his bats of major achievements, according to du Plessis.
Bradman later gifted the bat to to George Miles, which is also inscribed: “To George Miles, in appreciation & with best wishes, from Don.”
“Provenance from the original owner confirms that George Miles played cricket for Mick Simmons, the Sydney sports store for which Bradman did promotional work,” says du Plessis.
“Miles also worked for the store for 34 years, repairing bats and re-stringing handles for the store and for Bradman.”
The bat, one of Bradman’s last Test Match used cricket bats remaining in private hands, was bought by an overseas bidder who took part in the auction via phone.
Before it was sold, it had once been on display at The National Sports Museum, located at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, from 2008 to 2012. At that time, it valued and insured for $175,000.
It’s not the only piece of Bradman’s cricketing memorabilia that has sold for an incredible price.
Bradman’s famous “baggy green” cap, worn during the 1946-47 Ashes cricket series, sold for $88,000 at an auction in London in 2003. A bat he used during Australia’s 1930 tour of England that was sold during the same auction sold for $74,000.
In 2014, one of his bats sold for $60,000.
To this day, Bradman still holds the highest Test batting average with 99.94. Most players have career batting averages in the range of 20 to 40.
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