If you think you know more about Don Bradman than you ever wanted to, then think again. Among Australians, only Ned Kelly (14) has had more biographies published about him than the 12 on Bradman.
But a new book about The Don contains some irresistible little gems that even the most dedicated Bradmanophile will find novel. Among them:
*The code phrase which told Allied troops of the assault on the monastery at Monte Cassino in Italy in March 1944 was "Bradman will be batting tomorrow".
*Austrian Airlines (formerly Lauda Air), has a plane named after Bradman. It has other aircraft called Pablo Picasso, Ernest Hemingway and Elvis Presley.
*Bradman was not one for flash cars, driving a Mitsubishi Sigma, then replacing it with his last car, a Holden Apollo.
*The ABC's postal address in all state and territory capitals is PO Box 9994, which is a tribute to Bradman's Test average of 99.94.
*In 1948 an Indian regional team called Kathiawar abandoned their match against Maharashtra and went home when one of the opposition players, Bhausahibe Nimbalkar, reached 443. They believed it would have been discourteous for Nimbalkar to overtake Bradman's then world record of 452 not out in a first class match, which they regarded as sacred.
*Among Nelson Mandela's first words when he was released from Robben Island after 27 years were: "Is Don Bradman still alive?"
*Bradman always called heads as Test captain in England. He was wrong eight times out of nine.
*Bradman's favourite subject at school was mathematics, but he used to finish third in the class behind Iris Payne and a boy called "Sooky" Turner.
*Democrats founder Don Chipp was the non-striker when Bradman, aged 54, was dismissed for the last time (for 4) in a cricket match - MCC v the Prime Minister's XI at Manuka Oval, Canberra, in February 1963. The bowler was Brian Statham.
*Bradman had a variety of dahlia named after him.
*He composed a song called Every Day is a Rainbow Day for Me, recorded in 1930. He also recorded two songs as a pianist: Our Bungalow of Dreams, and An Old Fashioned Lockett.
*Tests conducted by the University of Adelaide showed Bradman's reaction times were slightly slower than average.
*The Cooktown Independent ran a story in December 1931 saying Bradman had died of dysentery.
*Bradman was never out in the 90s in a Test match. He was out for 89 once, and later said he had in fact made 90 because one of his runs was counted as a leg-bye.
*If he had been out to the first chance he offered in Test matches, he would still have averaged 74.79 - more than anyone in history.
*Once he reached 100 in Tests (as he did 29 times), he scored an average of another 85 runs. His "average" Test century was 185.
*If he had been made to retire at 100 in Tests, Bradman would still have averaged 59.25.
*At the age of 79 Bradman shot 76 off the stick off the championship tees to win the A Grade monthly medal at Kooyonga Golf Club.
*"Fancy doing that!" - Bradman's words after being bowled for a duck in his last Test innings, in which he needed only four runs for an average of 100.
Edited on, December 11, 2004, 8:06 PM GMT, by Navarene.