The National Film and Sound Archive of Australia (NFSA) has released the only known colour footage of Sir Donald Bradman playing cricket, shot at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Saturday 26 February 1949.
The vision, available on the NFSA website, shows Bradman striding onto the SCG for his penultimate first-class innings, during the AF Kippax and WA Oldfield testimonial match. Although the footage is silent it captures the atmosphere at the ground and the 41,000 people in attendance.
The 16mm colour footage is assumed to have been shot by George Hobbs, who had worked as a cameraperson for the Department of Information during the Second World War and later for ABC TV.
Hobbs' son Adrian donated the film in a can marked ‘Manly and Bondi Beach, Sydney @1949’
While most cricket fans would know that Bradman's last test series was in England in 1948, he also played in three testimonial matches after that tour: his own testimonial match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in December 1948 (a tied match in which Bradman scored his last first-class century), the Kippax-Oldfield testimonial match at the SCG in February 1949 and his final first-class match in a Sheffield Shield game in Adelaide for South Australia against Victoria.
Interviews with Curator Jeff Wray available. The footage is available for media use*.
For interviews or for more information, please contact NFSA Communications Manager Miguel Gonzalez, miguel.gonzalez [at] nfsa.gov.au, (02) 8202 0114 or 0404 281 632.