Sydney, Feb 9:
Former Australian pace great Jeff Thomson said Monday that Don Bradman was the best batsman he bowled to, who even at the age of 70 left the fast-bowler “gobsmacked” by his strokeplay.
Recollecting an anecdote from 1978, Thomson said he feared that he might kill Bradman with his quick pace in a backyard match in Adelaide as the batting legend was not wearing any protection.
“I thought this won’t take long, this little old guy with glasses, I thought I had just better bowl my leg-spinners as it wouldn’t look too good in the newspaper if I killed Don Bradman in a game of backyard cricket,” Thomson was quoted as saying by news.com.au.
“Bradman had nothing but a bat. No protector, no pads or anything on a green turf wicket. I thought ‘good luck old man you will be dead shortly’. He just belted the first ball and I thought hmm that wasn’t a bad shot, it must have been luck. I bowled one more ball and then sat aside and watched this guy for 20 minutes flog two young bowlers.”
The 64-year-old, one of the fastest bowlers ever, added that even the likes of former West Indies batsman Viv Richards and Australian Greg Chappell would have backed away facing him without proper equipment. But Bradman did not and instead left him “gobsmacked”.
“If you had Greg Chappell, Viv Richards or Ian Chappell in there they would have been backing away because they had no protective gear. But Bradman just backed himself to hit everything and I was gobsmacked. If anyone doubts how good a batsman he was, they should come and see me,” said Thomson. IANS