We’re only a couple of weeks away from one of sport’s greatest rivalries resuming…
As England take on Australia for the Ashes once again.
And I wanted to talk about one of cricket’s most infamous moments, which took place in the 1948 Ashes series.
Don Bradman, arguably the greatest cricketer ever to live, was playing in his final ever test tour as Australia took on England.
98, 99, 100…
Bradman headed into his final innings on 6,996 runs, needing just 4 runs to hit 7,000 with an average of 100 runs per innings.
But in what has become one of cricket’s most infamous stories, Bradman was inexplicably bowled out for a second-ball duck.
It meant that his test average sat at 99.94 runs per innings forever more.
To put that into context, no other batsman in cricket history has averaged more than 62…
On that fateful day, he sat on the edge of sporting immortality – but he still achieved it.
It’s only semantics that stop it from looking like an unmatchable feat because the reality is that whether his average was 79, 89, 99.94 or 100, it’s unlikely that anyone will EVER surpass him.
Of course, the other side is the importance of knowing the numbers.
There’s no doubt that Bradman knew he simply needed to notch 4 runs to hit his target, which was a pretty easy feat for a batsman of his undoubted calibre.
But the nature of sport, as in business and life, is that anything can happen. And on that day, he was caught out by a brilliant ball from Eric Hollies, who was 20 years younger than the 39-year-old Bradman.
Only YOU Can Define Your Own Success
Sometimes we can get bogged down in our perceptions of things, particularly when it comes to business.
Maybe it’s looking at a competitor or a friend whose business is doing well – maybe they’ve got a second car, maybe they go on more holidays…
But success can only be measured against yourself.
Success to you looks different to success to your friends, neighbours, or the stranger you’ve never met.
We’re all guilty of it but sometimes it’s wise to take a step back and look at what you’ve achieved.
If you’re batting at 99.94, don’t beat yourself up about the 0.06 – take solace in just how much you’ve already done.
The punditry from Australian Radio summed up that final moment in Bradman’s career perfectly:
“The game that had given him so much had denied him at the very last Test appearance.”
But he was still immortal and without doubt, he had succeeded – something which we can all take heart from.