Teenager Bradman Thompson from Central Victoria is living up to his name with the bat.
At six-foot-five (195cm), the 14-year-old towers above other kids on the cricket pitch — and it’s there he feels most at home.
“I’ve always had a talent for sports, and I find cricket the most interesting,” Bradman said.
“I really like how cricket has a lot of skill to it, and you’ve got to take your time, there’s no rushing stuff.”
Bradman’s dad Matthew Thompson said his son first discovered cricket when he was struggling with bullying at school.
“Cricket has helped Bradman in lots of ways, especially with his confidence,” Mr Thompson said.
Neil Byer, the president the Maiden Gully Marist Cricket Club, the club Bradman plays for, said lots of kids achieved a huge amount out of community sport.
“They play their sport, they get more confidence, it’s good for their friendship group, and they develop socially as well,” Mr Byers said.
But nobody was quite expecting Bradman to develop as well as he did.
In the last season, Bradman averaged an impressive 275 runs for the season and only got out once, by far the highest average batting score in the district.
“Bradman had a Bradman-like season, if I can say that. It was unbelievable, I was very proud of him,” Mr Thompson said.
“It was splendid. I did really well,” Bradman said.
Disappointment set in when the final was cancelled due to COVID-19, so Bradman was looking forward to some recognition at the local Bendigo District Cricket Association (BDCA) awards.
Matt Thompson and his son were watching the awards live on Facebook.
“He had the most amazing smile on his face as the scores were rolling through, and then his name wasn’t there,” Mr Thompson said.
Due to an administrative error, not all of Bradman’s scores were officially recorded, and the award was given to someone else.
Mr Thompson called the Maiden Gully club, the Bendigo District Cricket Association, Cricket Victoria and even Cricket Australia to try and rectify the situation.
“He’s my little man, my only one, and I wanted to do everything I could to make him feel really good about himself,” Mr Thompson said.
The next ‘Bradman’
Now the club will give Bradman a special award at its next function, to recognise the young star on the rise.
“We’ll highlight the fact that he did win the award, and it wasn’t his fault that he didn’t get it,” Club President Neil Byers said.
“We are going to speak to the BDCA to make sure it never happens again to any other kid.”
Mr Byers said that while it shouldn’t be all about awards, they were important.
“I think when you put in a season of cricket or football, then to get a reward is wonderful, and it means a lot as a kid. I’ve got a lot of awards sitting out in my room there,” Mr Byers said.
Bradman is thrilled to be getting the award, but he’s still got a long way to go to achieve his dreams.
“I think that my dream would be to become nationally known about it,” Bradman said.