Sir Donald Bradman was a fiercely private man, but from to he faithfully maintained a lively correspondence with his close friend and confidant Rohan Rivett, the charismatic editor of The News in Adelaide. The Private Don is an anatomy of the friendship between these two remarkable men - a friendship defined by cricket and by family. Through their feisty exchanges on the game, their thoughts on the media and world affairs, their closely argued opinions on investments, their touching mutual support on personal matters and, always, their rare and treasured meetings over bottles of red, a side to Bradman is revealed that Australia has never seen before.
Compulsory reading for cricket fans as well as lovers of biography, this is an outstanding portrait of the price of fame, the joys of friendship, and the preoccupations of an extraordinary yet very ordinary man. After WSC, Chappell was confronted with a schedule that felt a lot like serving two masters. In , Chappell's calendar featured 46 days of long-form cricket and ten one-day matches.
The following summer he played 62 days of Test and first-class cricket and 18 one-day games.
Life's Cricket Match.
In the space of five seasons, the playing demands on him had nearly doubled, though the season itself had not expanded. Professionalism hit Australia's cricketers hard. Where once they imagined themselves playing and practising more like golfers, they found the new deal not unlike a sweatshop. Rather than push himself further, Chappell chose to partially withdraw.
He did not venture to England for the Ashes, heralding an unhappy period of shared captaincy with Kim Hughes , the establishment's choice as leader over Rod Marsh. When he retired in , Marsh remarked that he would have played on had he been given the chance to lead. He also remained adamant that his WSC affiliation had shunted him behind Hughes in the leadership stakes.
Marsh's duel with Hughes was emblematic of the ACB's fight to maintain control of the game, in an environment where Taylor and PBL's general manager Tony Skelton had an enormous amount of financial clout. They were aided by the fact that Richards, now the board's executive director, was not inclined to push back. He was greatly impressed by the professionalism of PBL and Channel Nine, and saw little point in disputing a deal set in stone for at least a decade. Incredibly, one of Richards' battles was to successfully secure the ACB's rights to its own logo, the mirror-image batsman emblem dreamed up by PBL to complement the WSC ball and stumps.
PBL's expanding influence was reflected in an attempt to gain control of junior cricket, a concept championed by Taylor and, from the board, Caldwell. Barry Knight, a mentor to Allan Border and latterly Packer's son James, was put forward as a potential director. But PBL's intentions were as much about branding as about the identification of future Bradmans. If PBL were seen as good people behind the promotion of youth cricket, this may solve the problem. Influenced by the opposition of Graham Halbish, a young executive at the time, the ACB filibustered the offer by referring it to various committees.
The board then embarked upon its own sponsorship drives, leading to several deals for junior cricket, the first time the ACB had successfully pushed back against Packer since peace broke out. No longer a part of the ACB, Bradman remained a fixture on SACA's ground and finance committee until , and continued to correspond with administrators around the country. He made sure to stay in touch with the board chairman of the day.
One such was Col Egar, chairman between and , who recalled that often, Bradman's advice was summed up with the words, "Don't spend the money. In Western Australia, WACA's first general manager, John Rogers, remembered receiving a letter with a similar directive, amid discussions about the installation of lights at the ground. He wondered why things were still so financially tight in this age of commercialised cricket, and in early set to find out.
PBL had just accepted Channel Nine's renewal of the broadcast deal for three more years, but with the terms of the peace treaty still secret from all but the smallest circle - ACB directors, Richards, Packer, Taylor and their legal teams - few knew where the game stood. Working alongside the seasoned political advisor and investigative journalist Bill Mitchell, Rogers sought details of the deal, and at the same time examined television contracts elsewhere, particularly for sports in the US. Despite these findings, the status quo remained for the term of the deal, for reasons summed up by Richards.
There was no point making an argument about it, the deal was done, it was set in stone for ten years and I think Australian cricket prospered. There was one time to sort it all out and that was at the end of the agreement, not before. Little known outside board circles, Rogers' report deserves to sit alongside the Bodyline cables and the Argus review as vital documents in the story of Australian cricket. For the first time, administrators and board directors were made more aware of what the game was worth, and how television money had so dwarfed the gate money as a source of revenue.
As significantly, they were shown the broad sweep of a trend that had left the ACB and state associations increasingly reliant on handouts from PBL. Rogers' report concluded this was not just an issue of finances but control:. Directly, through its promotional role, PBL earns as much from the game as cricket itself. On present trends, unless action is taken, PBL could be in effective control of top cricket before its contract expires.
The ACB has a duty to take action to acquire sufficient control over cricket's total earnings to be sure of effective future control over the game itself.
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- The Private Don : Don Bradman on Cricket, Investment, Politics, the Media, Family and Friends -.
- Live and Learn (Friends & Sins, Book 1).
- The Private Don.
Never was this more evident than in early Hughes' captaincy had imploded, leaving a reluctant Border with the job. Despite facing one of the greatest sides in Clive Lloyd's West Indies, Border followed defeat in Adelaide with a scrambled draw in Melbourne and a spin-inspired win in Sydney. Just as he seemed to be pulling a team together, shortly before the start of an Ashes tour the announcement of a rebel tour to South Africa disrupted progress.
Hughes, Rodney Hogg, Geoff Lawson and others had grappled with the board for improved player contracts ahead of the West Indies tour, and could not believe the repeated insistence of Richards and others that there was no money once the state associations had taken their annual share.
For players generally unencumbered by political sensitivities, there was little hesitation to sit down with Ali Bacher. When Packer and Taylor got wind of the tour, their response was instructive, and commercialised. Rather than working with the board on a collective solution, the decision was made to focus on salvaging players considered to be of best commercial value, while also safeguarding the future.
Graeme Wood, Wayne Phillips thought to be the most bankable batsmen after Border and Dirk Welham an insurance option for the captaincy , who had all signed on for the rebel tour, were approached. Also there would be a minimum five years employment with the Packer organisation, if it was required. A decision was also made to sign a handful of young players to insulate them against South African overtures. For Waugh in particular, this deal and its underlying circumstances would be difficult to forget, especially as the contract allowed him to buy the land on which he built his first home.
Of this commercial cherrypicking, Richards says, "We weren't invited to take a view about that at the time. Television rights were to be separated from marketing rights, and the board was to take back control of how the game was sold to the public - whether PBL liked it or not. No one knew more intimately how ruthless Packer could be than his son, James. Packer foresaw a sparkling cricket career for his heir, and was intent upon stealing every advantage. Having teed up his sibling for the task, Ian Chappell paid a visit one afternoon to see how it was progressing.
He watched a session in the compound's personal artificial turf net, which Trevor decided would end with some training against the short ball from a bowling machine. This contraption had been imported from the US for Packer, whose idea of recreation was to set the machine to its maximum speed - about mph - and deal with the projectile.
He once demonstrated his prowess to Clive Lloyd, who reflexively declined the offer to have a go himself. As Trevor cued up the speed to around 65mph, to work James up to greater velocities, Ian watched Packer intervene, insisting the machine be cranked up to maximum right away. Both Chappells tried to reason with Packer, Ian arguing it would leave James "scared shitless" of bouncers. Packer insisted, and James was struck several times. He took an interest in the state of the game, spending time with Halbish and the board chairman Alan Crompton.
Given his own experiences with his father, it was understandable that James came round to the sympathetic view that the board and players had been treated harshly. He had this view that Kerry and I had been too hard on the board and should become friends with them.
So he basically took over the negotiations, and that's when things started to slip away. Crompton and Halbish started talking to James about the fact I was too tough, they didn't like negotiating with me. That was the end as far as I was concerned. The ACB's successful operational, sponsorship and marketing effort at the World Cup also contributed to a growing sense of emancipation. Richards was aware of Taylor's attitude before his departure, and counselled Halbish to be firm. Lynton wasn't at all happy about that, because I think he was trying to perpetuate the deal that had been done back in But that's the way it panned out.
That's the basis on which Australian cricket is organised these days, has been for a very long time, and the way it should be done. Subsequent events showed Packer had no desire for another breakaway and Taylor eventually met his Waterloo via the sort of due diligence that reflected how far the board had evolved. As Crompton said in Inside Story : "Within five minutes he'd come back and told us, 'Tear up that invoice. We'll send you a credit note for the same sum. And by the way, I've just sacked Lynton Taylor. Impressed, Packer gave gruff approval.
The fruit of their talks was a new deal in March , which lifted the ACB into the sort of comfortable financial position it has enjoyed ever since. Finally Australian cricket could get a share of the game's revenue commensurate with its value.
Finally Australian cricket could determine how it sold and programmed itself. Finally Australia's best players would be paid something comparable to the money available in other national sports. After returning to Melbourne from the meeting that ended Taylor's years in cricket, Halbish received a call from Leckie, which he recalled in his autobiography Run Out : "Kerry wanted to let you know that he thinks Australian cricket has finally grown some balls.
When Don met Kerry | leiviviresvi.ga
The new landscape was redrawn swiftly, from the drafting of a new ACB logo and the formulation of the board's first non-PBL advertising and marketing campaigns, to the early planning for a new captain in Mark Taylor. Bradman's legacy, meanwhile, was in the process of being preserved for all time.
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His museum at Bowral was under construction, but with uncertain funding. There were a host of novelties about the day, from the teams playing in baseball kit to the use of a multicoloured ball, to mics on players to enable chatting to the commentators. Bradman did not attend but had a say in the organisation: he was particularly eager for Lara to play. The links formed over the course of this match would evolve into Ray Martin's interview with Bradman and the telethon a little over a year later. Had they known the story behind it, the arrangement might not have been so surprising.
Intentionally or not, Bradman had once looked after Packer. Years later, Packer looked after Bradman.