This moment and the photo was probably taken at Balmoral Cstle in 1948 when Bradman led the Australian team of Invincibles to England. So, it was not in Adelaide where I have lived since 1977 and where Don Bradman spent a good part of his adult life and where his son John Bradsen (as he chose to call himself) taught at the University of Adelaide. Unlike Harry Solomons, whose cricketing services have been immense and deserving of special moments, I never had occasion to meet that colossus of a cricketer — even though one potential opportunity arose at the Adelaide Oval when the Sri Lankan Under 19 Team played at least two matches vs the Aussie U19 team (one including the Waugh brothers and Craig MacDermott). Since Ranjit Fernando and Neil Perera were in charge of that squad I was able to chat with one or th other at some moments during the contests. I wasin the vicinity of the deressing rooms with one of them when don Bradman was ushered into the area to greet the young lads in what was meant to be an inspiring moment for the young men. This gathering took place in the dressing rooms …. and I moved away because I was not a member of the entourage and had no ground to inject myself into that assembly.
What that occasion does display, however, was the extent to which Bradman was ready to extend himself to encourage budding stars in less-privileged cricketing countries. Perhaps he had not forgotten the several occasions when the passenger liners that took the Aussie teams to UK and back in the 1930s and 1940s had stopped briefly at Colombo and the Australians had indulged in one-day whistle stop matches in 1930, 1938 and 1948.
SP Foenander, one of the doyens of Ceylon’s cricket administration, has just presented a replica of the Dalada Maligawa to Don Bradman in early April 1930. This replica now reposes in the Mortlake Library in Adelaide.
ANOTHER SHOT from Balmoral Castle, presumaly in 1948