Bradman family hit for six by Indian biscuits

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Sir Donald's son, John, is threatening legal action against a charitable foundation that authorised the manufacture of Bradman's Chocolate Chip Cookies by Unibic, based in Melbourne. The biscuits went on sale last week, wrapped in gold and green packaging, the Australian sporting colours.

"The Don", as he was known in his native Australia, set up the foundation before he died in 2001. But its relations with his family have been fraught - they are unhappy about the commercialisation of Sir Donald's legacy.

As Australian media outlets are gleefully reporting, this latest fracas has taken the biscuit. The family said: "Sir Donald is a loved and missed family member, not a brand name like Mickey Mouse."

But the Bradman Foundation, which is based in his home town of Bowral, in New South Wales, is unrepentant. It said Sir Donald had encouraged the commercial use of his name for charitable purposes.

Richard Mulvaney, the foundation's director, said: "When we were first approached, we had to obviously think long and hard: is it appropriate to align the Bradman name to a biscuit? We recognise there are probably some people out there who think that we may have gone too far."

But Mr Mulvaney is certain that Sir Donald would have approved. "I think sometimes we can be a bit precious about these things," he said. "It's probably the greatest name in Australian history.

"We want to keep that name alive, and if it means turning him into a biscuit name, well we've gone ahead and done it."

The infamous cookies, which feature a logo with an image of Sir Donald, are being trialled in India. If they prove popular, Unibic plans to roll them out in Britain and Pakistan, where the Bradman name will resonate among cricket fans.

A portion of the proceeds will go to charity, Mr Mulvaney said.

But the family's lawyer, Harley Medcalfe, said Sir Donald would have been "adamant in his opposition" to the biscuits. He told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation that the family had been expressing concerns about use of his name for the past three years.

Sir Donald was a notoriously private person who shunned the limelight and was uncomfortable with the fame that his talent brought him. As a batsman, he was utterly formidable, averaging 99.94 runs in 52 Test matches.

The cookies could prove a storm in a teacup, compared with future rows already simmering. The foundation wants to use the Bradman name on products ranging from pizzas to corkscrews.

As The Sydney Morning Herald noted yesterday: "Bradman beer - 'it keeps you batting all night long' - may be in your pub soon."

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