ACT News

Bradman exhibition opens at Canberra Museum

Cricket is coming to Canberra early this year, ahead of the three ICC Cricket World Cup matches. 

The Bradman Museum will tour Canberra for the first time, with  part of its classic collection on  display in the Canberra Museum and Gallery. 

Padding up: Social History Curator of the Canberra Museum and Gallery Sharon Bulkeley, left, and Assistant Curator of ...
Padding up: Social History Curator of the Canberra Museum and Gallery Sharon Bulkeley, left, and Assistant Curator of the Bradman Museum Belinda McMartin at the Bradman exhibition at Canberra Museum and Gallery.  Photo: Jamila Toderas

Launching today, the exhibition chronicles the history of Australian cricket, particularly against the nations playing in this year's world cup.

Included in the display will be the ball used in the first inter-colonial match, a tribute to Philip Hughes and a collection of Don Bradman memorabilia. 

Remembrance: The Bradman Museum at Canberra Museum and Gallery have a condolence book in memory of Phillip Hughes.
Remembrance: The Bradman Museum at Canberra Museum and Gallery have a condolence book in memory of Phillip Hughes. Photo: Jamila Toderas

Canberrans love their cricket, says social history curator at Canberra History Museum Sharon Bulkeley.

"At countless ovals all over ACT in the summer, you can hear the thwack of the ball and people cheering," she said.

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"It brings people together, the spectators are together, kids on the street play it and families watch it at home."

Cricket has a long history in the nation's capital, having been played here since the 1850s.

Ms Bulkeley says that for a small region, Canberra has produced more than its fair share of talent.

"We've consistently batted above our weight. Several first-class cricketers have begun their careers here," she said.

The museum also looks more broadly at Australian cricket as a whole – which assistant curator at the Bradman Museum Belinda McMartin argues can't be done without a bit of Don Bradman. 

Don Bradman is considered to be the father of modern Australian cricket, and is widely acknowledged to be one of the best batsmen of all time. 

"Bradman was a symbol of hope. He was a country boy who made it big," she said.

The exhibition contains treasures for cricket tragics suffering a touch of "Bradmania".

"We've got a toby jug with his face, one of his cigarette packs and his pad from the '48 Invincibles Tour," Ms McMartin said. 

The exhibition also includes a memorial booklet, and a lone bat and cap in the corner in honour of Philip Hughes.

In many ways, Philip represented qualities at the heart of Australian cricket, said Ms McMartin.

"His determination, his humility – in the light of what's just happened with Phil Hughes, it's those sorts of characteristics which carry on," she said. 

The show coincides with a book release featuring famous cricket photographers through the ages, specialising in the works of Bruce Postle, Viv Jenkins and Philip Brown. 

The book, published by the Bradman Museum, will be released in January.

The World of Cricket exhibition will run from tomorrow until the middle of the Cricket World Cup on March 15.