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Aussies reminded of Sir Don’s ideals

Sydney: The son of the late Don Bradman said his father would have wanted Australia’s cricketers to consider issues other than their own safety before deciding whether to play in Zimbabwe or not.

John Bradman told Sydney’s Daily Telegraph on Friday that his father told him before he died that players should consider the “well-being of cricket” before making decisions like this.

“It’s particularly clear that the basis of his thinking about this had two grounds, the well-being of the cricketers and the well-being of cricket,” John Bradman said.

“The well-being of cricket is a much more wide-ranging issue. I think if he was looking at this today he would say, ‘Well, there is a lot of focus on the safety of the players, and rightly so, but perhaps more focus should be on the bigger issues.’ ”

According to the report, Bradman also said his father thought political decisions ideally should not be made by sporting bodies, even though he himself was forced into action in 1971 by then Prime Minister William McMahon.

Donald was chairman of the Australian Cricket Board (ACB) when it cancelled an invitation for the South African team to tour Australia in 1971 because the team was picked in a racially discriminatory way.

The Australian and British governments have been putting pressure on their teams to boycott next month’s World Cup matches in Zimbabwe as a show of opposition to Robert Mugabe’s leadership.

But both governments have said the final decision rests with cricket authorities and the ACB has said it would follow the advice of the ICC.

Australia’s International Olympic Committee vice-president Kevan Gosper said on Thursday any boycott of World Cup matches in Zimbabwe would hurt ordinary citizens.

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