Trying to practice the preach

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In memory of the legend, here is a tale about Bradman, courtesy of James Kerr from his book “Legacy”.

“Shepherd St Bowral,
New South Wales

A small boy is playing cricket alone in a backyard. The sound of the ball on bat echoes over the neighbourhood, rebounding over ordinary weatherboard bungalows in an ordinary Australian town.

The bat is a cricket stump. The ball is a golf ball.

The boy throws the ball against a curved, corrugated wall. Each time he throws, it flies off at a different, random angle.

Sometimes he cuts. Sometimes he blocks. Sometimes he drives.

Every time though he hits the ball.


The boy does this every morning, every afternoon, every day and every year for a decade. In his first game for the local school, aged 12 he scores 115 not out. In the return match his captain retires him on 72. For the third match the opposing captain refuses to field a team if he is selected.

A few years later, during his first season of club cricket, the boy scores 995 runs in just nine innings. In 1927 he plays his first first-class match.

The next year he plays for his country. 20 years later he retires, with an average score of 99.94 – dismissed one run short of an extraordinary career average of 100.

The boy’s name was Donald Bradman, the finest sportsman of any generation.

Bradman learned his trade on the back streets of Bowral by bouncing a golf ball off a corrugated wall and hitting it back with a cricket stump.

He made practice his test.”

Kunle Olafare

Inherited ISAs

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