Don Bradman - "i Don't Laugh Much About It"
"I Don't Laugh Much About It"
In 1948, his final year of play, he vowed that he would go the whole season without losing a match, and he did. His triumph was only marred by the events of his last game. As Kindred noted, Bradman needed only four runs in that game to reach a 100-run average for his entire 20-year career. Surprisingly, he did not score at all, an event known as a "duck." In an interview in 1996, a television reporter asked Bradman if he ever laughed to think his duck was the most famous one in the history of the game. Although forty-eight years had passed since that day, and although he had received a standing ovation from the English fans when he left the crease for the last time, Bradman said seriously, "No, I don't laugh much about it."
Bradman was knighted in 1949, the first Australian cricketer to receive this honor. He continued to work as a stockbroker until the mid-1950s, when poor health forced him to sell the business. After this, he became involved in the administrative levels of Australian cricket, working as a Test selector. He was also chair of the Board of Control from 1960 to 1963 and from 1969 to 1972.
In 1979, Bradman was made a Companion of the Order of Australia.
Bradman's wife Jessie died in 1997, and grief struck him hard. He died at his home in Adelaide, Australia, in 2001, after suffering poor health for some time. He was ninety-two. In summing up Bradman's popularity, a reporter in the London Times wrote that Bradman was so admired by Australians that "for most of the second half of the [twentieth] century, he would have been the people's choice as President of Australia." And as former England captain Brian Close told a reporter in the Coventry Evening Telegraph, "He gave Australia a lot to live for and I doubt he will ever be surpassed."