The Museum is delighted to announce that it has been donated its first match-used bat from the famous 1948 Australian tour of England. The bat, used by Vice-Captain Lindsay Hassett was donated by Edward Simpson in memory of his late mother Caroline Simpson O.A.M.
This is also the first piece of match used equipment acquired by the Museum that relates to Lindsay Hassett. Don Bradman described him on the tour as ‘a great player’ and to whom he consistently sought tactical advice. ‘A beautiful stroke-maker when in the mood’, Bradman admired Hassett for his drives and cuts, but was especially captivated by his square leg glance off his toes. However, it was possibly his genial and impish personality that endeared him most of all to his team-mates and the opposition alike.
During August-September 1948, Lindsay Hassett used the bat to score successive centuries in three first-class matches 200* v Gentlemen of England, 103 v Somerset and 151 v South of England. These innings contributed to his first-class tour aggregate of 1,563 runs at an average of 74.42, second only to Bradman himself.
Upon returning to Australia, Hassett inscribed the bat and gave it to Norman David, the Principal Accountant of the Geelong Accountancy Firm, David & David. The bat was purchased by Mrs Simpson at auction in 2001. Mrs Simpson had grown up admiring Don Bradman for as much how he played the game as the way he played it and considered Hassett to be of similar caliber. After conversations with former Foundation Chairman Garry Barnsley, her son Edward agreed that the museum would be the most appropriate venue for his mother’s bat.
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