Bradman humbled to be 'best of century' tag

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The Independent Online

Sir Donald Bradman said yesterday he was humbled to learn he had been chosen as Wisden's cricketer of the 20th century.

Making a rare public statement, the semi-reclusive Australian, whose Test batting average of 99.94 has stood unchallenged since he retired in 1948, expressed appreciation of the award. "I am very honoured to be recognised by Wisden in this way," Bradman said. "I am very pleased that Jack Hobbs was also chosen as he was one of my boyhood heroes."

Bradman was the clear winner of Wisden's poll to decide the top five players of the last century, and the only player chosen by each of the 100 panellists. Sir Garfield Sobers, the former West Indies captain, finished second with 90 votes ahead of Hobbs, 30, the Australian leg-spinner Shane Warne, on 27, and Sir Vivian Richards, another former West Indies captain, with 25.

Warne was the only specialist bowler as well as the only current player to make the top five. "It's a huge honour to be included while I'm still playing and it's hard for me to wrap my head around it," Warne said. Hesaid he has not yet mastered the art of leg-spin despite claiming more than 350 Test victims. "I'd like to understand a lot more about it," he said.