SYDNEY, Australia - An Australian businessman has purchased Donald Bradman’s first baggy green test cap for 450,000 Australian dollars ($340,000) at auction, the second-highest price paid for a piece of cricket memorabilia.
Peter Freedman, the founder of Rode Microphones who earlier this year paid 9 million Australian dollars ($6.8 million) at an auction for a guitar used by Nirvana front man Kurt Cobain, plans to tour Bradman’s test debut cap around Australia.
The price for Bradman’s 1928 Australia cap sits behind the $1,007,500 ($760,000) paid at auction for Australian leg-spinner Shane Warne’s test cap earlier this year — the world-record price for an item of cricket memorabilia, auction officials said.
Bradman represented Australia for 20 years, playing 52 test matches from 1928 to 1948, and is generally regarded as the world's best-ever cricketer.
Knighted for his services to cricket in 1949, he retired from test cricket with a batting average of 99.94, making his test batting achievements nearly twice that of the nearest batsman in the longer version of the game.
“Sir Don Bradman is an Aussie legend,” Freedman said on Tuesday. “Not only as one of our greatest talents on the sporting field and one of the most revered athletes of all time, but as an icon of Australian fortitude and resilience."
“I have some exciting plans for the baggy green that will see it travel the country and shared with sports fans and cricketing communities.”
The reason for the auction was related to criminal activity.
The cap was presented to Bradman before his test debut against England in November 1928 in Brisbane. Bradman gave the cap to a family friend, Peter Dunham, as a gift in 1959.
Dunham, who was Bradman's neighbour in Adelaide, South Australia, was earlier this year jailed for fraud. Dunham in May was jailed for more than eight years for taking $1 million from investors.
Some of Dunham’s victims sought access to Bradman’s cap to help pay off the accountant’s debts. Dunham’s estate was bankrupted with Bradman’s cap auctioned under instructions from the trustee.
In June, Freedman purchased the acoustic guitar used by Cobain in Nirvana’s renowned unplugged performance in 1993. Freedman's bid for the 1959 Martin D18E acoustic guitar was the highest price ever paid at auction for a guitar, officials for the Bradman auction said.
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