My grandfather collected autographs — Kingsford Smith, Dame Nellie Melba, Jardine’s English cricket team and Don Bradman’s Australian from the infamous
Body line Series.... Don Bradman’s autograph was there three times, from different
decades. Having left England shortly before the First World War with his mother and sister, my grandfather arrived in Australia full of notions of Empire. The English cricket team was both an expeditionary force, and in the vanguard of the defence of the realm. It was more than a sporting team. And leaving the corpse of his recently suicided father behind, my grandfather made the transition to his new home easier by carrying the values and ‘manners’ of his cricketing heroes with him. He remained a lifelong supporter of the English cricket team, and would later bet with judges and politicians on long or short odds for English victories against the Australians.
Kinsella, John, But Is It Cricket...?, Kunapipi, 23(1), 2001.