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Don’s bat up for auction

Sydney: The cricket bat used by Don Bradman to launch his Test career has been put up for auction and is expected to fetch up to (Aus) $145,000.

Bradman, who retired with a yet-to-be-topped Test batting average of 99.94, used the bat to open his Test career in the 1928 series against England.

It was donated by him to the Sydney Sun newspaper in 1930 as a competition prize to raise money for a children’s hospital and was held by the boy who won until 2008, when he sold it for (Aus) $145,000 ($136,000).

The current vendor, an Australian collector, put it on display at the National Sports Museum at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, but has now decided to sell.

“The market is tougher now but we expect to reach around the same price again,” Max Williamson of Mossgreen Auctions in Melbourne said. “Cricket has got a very big community of collectors so we expect it to be sold to a collector or an institution.”

The bat, signed by Bradman as DGB, also has the signatures of 19 members of the English and Australian teams, who played in his maiden Test.

Bradman scored just 18 and 1 in his first Test but went on to become a player widely acknowledged as the greatest batsman of all time.

The market for memorabilia related to Bradman, who died in 2001, remains strong with a bat he used and signed by his 1948 “Invincible” team selling for (Aus) $61,000 last year. (Agencies)