Cricket Australia (CA) has today announced that former England captain Mike Brearley will deliver the 11th Sir Donald Bradman Oration in Melbourne on 23 October.
Speaking on the 105th anniversary of Sir Donald’s birth, CA Chief Executive Officer James Sutherland said CA was delighted that Brearley, who captained England in 31 of his 39 Tests for a win-loss tally of 17-4, had been able to accept an invitation to deliver the Oration.
"Mike Brearley played first-class cricket for 22 years, was one of the game's most eminent captains and was later President of the Marylebone Cricket Club. He has outstanding insights into both the modern game and its place in the world and also into the history, tradition and culture of cricket as a global sport," Mr Sutherland said.
"The Bradman Oration is not about Sir Donald Bradman, who was born 105 years ago today. It honours his name via the presentation of a discussion on contemporary cricket's issues and direction, and on the importance of the spirit of cricket.”
"This year's Oration falls between two consecutive Ashes series and I am delighted that Mike, a former Ashes captain and lucid thinker on the game, is able to present this year's Oration".
Mr Brearley said he was delighted and honoured to be asked to present this year’s Oration, particularly given the timing of two Ashes series of such high public interest.
“There is hardly any comparable rivalry in cricket - with the elements of myth, of ancient colonial attitudes, and of matches fought with utter passion but also with fair-mindedness. One remembers the moment in the Centenary Test at Melbourne when Rod Marsh recalled Derek Randall at a crucial stage, and the time when at the moment of victory at Edgbaston Andrew Flintoff put his arm round Brett Lee,” he said.
“More broadly, there are so many issues in and for cricket now - the future of Test cricket, T20 cricket and what it brings, the working of the Decision Review System, as well as inherent questions about sport's (and particularly cricket's) meaning and role in a fulfilled life”.
The Bradman Oration was inaugurated in August 2000, six months before Sir Donald died, with then-Prime Minister John Howard presenting the first Oration. Sir Donald was unwell and unable to attend but sent a message about the game's ideals which was read by his son John on his behalf.
In that message, Sir Donald, who noted his days on earth were rapidly drawing to a close, said: “Despite recent sad developments, cricket will survive and remain our most noble game and I shall always be proud of the part I played in its history and development”.
Subsequent Orations have been presented by Sir Michael Parkinson, Richie Benaud, Alan Jones, General Peter Cosgrove, Greg Chappell, Ricky Ponting, Sir Tim Rice, Rahul Dravid and Gideon Haigh.
First Posted 27 August, 2013 12:52PM AEST