Shinier Gupta writes about Don Bradman on his birthday.
The famous Australian cricketer, Donald George Bradman, was born 18 years, 10 months and 13 days after the great His Excellency Jawaharlal Nehru was born. Bradman was still at his mother’s breast, while Nehru was sending balls beyond boundaries in Cambridge cricket tourneys. While Bradman was crawling, Nehru was diving in the outfields of Lahore, catching Jinnah’s reverse sweep off the guard.
“Bradman’s mother, Emily, was in Cambridge. Then Bradman was just a two years old kid. His dad George took them and his brother Victor to Lords to watch England play Australia.”, recounted Gam Ruha, a noted Nehruvian historian and my co-divider friend. “11 Australians were playing against a single Nehru who represented the whole of England team. You might ask why? English people were so cowed by the massive personality of Nehru that they abandoned Lords the early morning. Nehru playing at strike, sent balls to the cheering audience. The tiny Bradman was watching Nehru’s play from lap of his mother. Later, Bradman who would meet Nehru on his tour of India described to the latter on how he learnt cricket from the stylish strokes of Nehru that day.”
“You might wonder why Nehru was obsessed with five – Panch sheel, Five year plan, etc. It was because he was always playing between 4 and 6 runs and what do you get between those two numbers- 5”, Gam Ruha was throwing in surprising fact one after another. “Back then, everyone was crazy about getting an autographed WM Sykes bat of Bradman. But nobody knows this – Bradman was crazy to get autograph of Nehru on his bat. He got the Nehru’s signature in his bat, but somehow missed the bat while it got messed up in flight cargo. This Nehru bat then found its way to a Mumbai godown somehow and in 1980s, a young boy picked this bat and started playing cricket. The whole world now knows that young boy by the name of Sachin Tendulkar”, beamed Gam Ruha.
By the way, happy birthday to Don Bradman. He might have ruled cricket, but India rules cricket now because Nehru ruled India.