Sir Don’s first cap finds new home
An Australian businessman has purchased Don Bradman’s first baggy green Test cap for 450,000 Australian dollars (Rs 2.5 crore) at auction, the second-highest price paid for a piece of cricket memorabilia.
Peter Freedman, the founder of Rode Microphones who earlier this year paid 9 million Australian dollars (Rs 50 crore) at an auction for a guitar used by Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain, plans to tour Bradman’s Test debut cap around Australia.
The price for Bradman’s 1928 Australia cap sits behind the A$1,007,500 (Rs 5.6 crore) paid at auction for Australian leg-spinner Shane Warne’s Test cap earlier this year — the world-record price for an item of cricket memorabilia, auction officials said.
The cap was presented to Bradman before his Test debut against England in November 1928 in Brisbane. Bradman made only 18 and 1, giving little hint of what was to follow.
“Sir Don Bradman is an Aussie legend,” Freedman said on Tuesday. “Not only as one of our greatest talents on the sporting field and one of the most revered athletes of all time, but as an icon of Australian fortitude and resilience. I have some exciting plans for the baggy green that will see it travel the country and shared with sports fans and cricketing communities.”
The reason for the auction was related to criminal activity. Bradman, who ended his Test career in 1948 with an average of 99.94, gave the cap to a family friend, Peter Dunham, as a gift in 1959.
Dunham, who was Bradman’s neighbour in Adelaide, was earlier this year jailed for fraud. In May, Dunham was jailed for more than eight years for taking $1 million from investors. Some of Dunham’s victims sought access to Bradman’s cap to help pay off the accountant’s debts. Dunham’s estate was bankrupted with Bradman’s cap auctioned by Pickles under instructions from the trustee.