Variety

Don Bradman's house in Bowral thrown open to visitors

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on January 13, 2018

02-01-2014 : A view of the house where Australian cricketer Sir Don Bradman lived between 1911 to 1924. Photo : S_Dinakar

The childhood house of cricket legend Sir Donald Bradman's house including the famous tank stand where the great cricketer honed his batting skills has been restored and opened up for public by philanthropist Andrew Leeming.

Cricket buffs can relive Bradman's childhood at 52, Shepherd Street, Bowral, in the heart of New South Wales, for a fee ranging between $40-$180 a person.

Bradman moved into the house with six of his family members in 1911. He was just 3 years old then. And, he continued to live there till 1924.

Introducing Leeming's efforts to restore the house, renowned Australian cricket writer Gideon Haigh said: "when we all thought we know everything about the cricket legend, Andrew has tried to say something fresh and put in efforts to bring in a new dimension of the man not uncovered till now.

Speaking at the event jointly organised by the Mumbai Press Club and The Hindu here on Monday, he said Bradman arrived at his own methods to grow as a performer, very much in keeping with the Australian respect for result rather than style. Seven decades after he played, we are still talking about him, he said admiring the iconic Australian cricketer.

Bradman honed his batting reactions by throwing a golf ball against a rough water tank at the Shepherd Street home and tried to connect it with the cricket stump. The varied bounce on the rough surface also sharpened his fielding skills.

Visitors to the house now can also try their hands at the water tank and relive the legends childhood life.

N Ram, Chairman, Kasturi & Sons Limited, introduced Leeming and said he did not go looking for the house, the house found him and for the last 10 years, he has been working extensively on this project.

It is the story about how this place at 52 Shepherd Street, Bowral was saved thanks to private philanthropy, he said.

Leeming, who was on a search for a property in Australia, bought the house after reading an advertisement and renovated it to its lost glory.

Expecting more visitors from Asian countries, he plans to use the profits from the initiative in philanthropy.

Describing it as a treasure trove of Australian domestic history and everyday life, Leeming said the house is a window to an almost forgotten world with period furnishings, household appliances and photographs telling the interesting story of young Bradman.

Visitors can now explore the house's extensive digital archive of Australian culture and sporting history including recorded conversations, documents, photographs and other material.

Leeming said that Sunil Gavaskar and Aussie cricketer Simon Katich had visited the house at Bowral.

BCCI administrators Ratnakar Shetty and Rahul Johri; former India Test captains Nari Contractor and Diana Eduljee, Committee of Administrators were present at the event which was also addressed by cricket columnist Ayaz Memon.

Published on February 28, 2017

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