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Mystery woman in Bradman letters

Sydney: Letters from Don Bradman which include reference to a mystery woman are expected to fetch $19,500 at auction here next week, auctioneers said on Wednesday.

Bradman’s god-daughter Jan Steele is auctioning the letters he wrote to her father, former Victorian cricketer and sport journalist Bert Kortlang, while travelling with the Australian cricket team on the 1930 Ashes tour.

In the letters, Bradman mentions a woman called Nina and asks Kortlang, who lived in London at the time, to help him arrange a meeting with her.

Nina’s identity is a mystery, but Bonhams Goodman auctioneer Giles Moon said he did not think there was anything untoward going on between her and Bradman, who married his wife Jessie the following year.

“There’s nothing scandalous in them ... It seems as if he just wants to put his feet up and relax while they are on tour, as you would expect,” he said.

The Bradmans were married until Jessie’s death in 1997. Bradman died in Adelaide on February 25, 2001, aged 93. In the letters, Bradman also appears annoyed at speculation he had become engaged to an Englishwoman from Bristol.

“In the letters, he vigorously denies that,” Moon said.

The Bradman Museum in Bowral has expressed disappointment at the sale of the letters, saying the amount asked for them had made them impossible to buy.

Moon said Steele had decided the time was right to sell the letters.

The auction will take place on Tuesday.

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