On Wednesday 29 October, at the Sydney Cricket Ground, Sachin Tendulkar AM & Steve Waugh AO was honoured by the Bradman Foundation as the 2014 Honourees. Sachin had made the long trip from Mumbai specifically for the function while Steve Waugh was joined by his wife and immediate family members for the celebration.
Before an audience of over 600 people at the Bradman Gala the two champions were appropriately recognised for their significant contributions to cricket, both on and off the field.
Bradman Foundation Patron Richie Benaud was a reluctant Apology but sent a message of congratulations and support to the two Honourees and spoke directly to Sachin prior to his departure back to Mumbai.
Alan Jones AO provided deeply insightful and passionately delivered tributes to both Sachin and Steve. Each, visibly moved, responded with candour, thanking Alan and recounting major moments in their careers, the teams with which they enjoyed success and how and why cricket has contributed positively to their lives. Amongst many topics Steve Waugh reminded the audience of his enduring pride wearing his Baggy Green and talked them through the last over of his ‘Perfect Day’ innings in 2004. Sachin recounted his meeting with Sir Donald Bradman at his Adelaide home in 1992. Both men also spoke of their deep respect for one another and the work of the Bradman Foundation.
At the conclusion of the night 2013 Bradman Honouree Mark Taylor AO, hosted a Q&A with the two honourees and conversation flowed about their matches together both in Australia and India, Sachin recalling with precision his success as a bowler when he took both Mark and Steve’s wickets. The audience was spellbound and in combination with fine food and wine, the new venue in the Noble – Bradman stand sparkled.
On Thursday 30 October Sachin, the modern game’s greatest living cricketer travelled by helicopter to Bradman Oval the nursery ground of the world’s greatest batsman. It was Sachin’s first trip to Bowral and we believe that he was very impressed with the reception that he received. The students of Bowral Public School, the same school that Sir Donald attended as a child, lined the Oval and their representative cricket players formed a Guard of Honour. In addition young players from the Bowral Cricket Club, the club Sir Donald played for, met with Sachin.
Sachin spent several minutes talking to the boys and learning of their cricket aspirations. He also took guard on Bradman Oval pitch to face a few deliveries from the boys and replicated Sir Donald’s stoke making from when he returned in 1976 to play on the newly laid turf wicket. The young boys were nervous as the played with their part with this superstar batting on Bradman Oval, a poignant and powerful statement in its own right.
After spending over an hour with the children Sachin visited the gardens where Sir Donald and lady Bradman’s were spread by the family in 2001. He then stopped for photo opportunities beside the life size Bradman ‘A Final Salute’ statue with students from the Bradman Foundation’s education partner University of Wollongong, local dignitaries, museum staff and members of the public. During a light lunch break Sachin was photographed by artist Dave Thomas for a portrait that has been commissioned for unveiling when he next returns in March for the ICC World Cup.
After lunch he toured the museum with the Curator David Wells and readily engaged with the interactive modules. Inside the Bradman Gallery he inspected the interactive tank-stand (which reminded him of his own childhood game to be revealed in his forthcoming biography). He took time to read Sir Donald Bradman’s ‘Last Letter’. After inspecting the World Series Gallery he looked at the International Cricket Hall, engaging with www.plotyourpitch , a website which invites the public to enter their own story of where they first played cricket. He was engaged by our interactive displays on cricketing nations and the he saw for the first time his own interview which features in the World of Cricket gallery.
Sachin closely studied the striking and famous Bradman portrait, painted by artist Bill Leak, which dominates in the International Hall, taking the time to read through the Bradman quotes on honesty, integrity and modesty, before being shown the display which contains his personal match used donations to the museum’s collection. Despite flagging from lack of sleep he generously gave his time answering a Q&A in front of the museum volunteers and members of the public. On the way out he revisited the Bradman Gallery and wrote a note of thanks in the official Museum Visitors book, signed his wall mural in the children’s gallery and announced that he enjoyed his time in the Bowral and loved the Museum.
As he re-joined the helicopter, Sachin stated ‘I look forward to returning to Bowral’ and thanked Executive Director Rina Hore for arranging the visit and his trip to Australia. He was honoured to be inducted into the “Greats of the Game” at the Bradman Museum and International Cricket Hall of Fame.