100 years on, Sir Don still the greatest

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Melbourne, Aug 27 (UNI) Praising the batting style of Don Bradman, Australia's modern-day Mr Cricket, Mike Hussey, is adamant that the legend would have been twice as good as any other batsman if he were playing today.

As Australia prepares to celebrate the centenary of The Don's birth today, debate has inevitably turned to how the country's greatest sportsman would have fared in the 21st-century game.

And Hussey has no doubt he would be an icon of a new generation.

''In my view, if Don Bradman were playing today, he would still have an average twice as good as any other batsman in the world,'' Hussey said.

''He is by far the best batsman ever and would still be in today's game.'' Bradman - whose batting average of 99.94 is still celebrated - died seven years ago, but tributes and recollections have started flowing in as a nation pauses to remember.

Some amateur cricket lovers even claim to have found the missing four runs that Bradman would have needed to boast a career average of 100.

Not that the records will be changed now.

Events will be held in Australia today to commemorate the centenary of Bradman's birth - with Test skipper Ricky Ponting to deliver a speech at a gala dinner in Sydney.

''It's almost like he's separate from the game,'' Ponting said.

''His name and what he achieved, it's so far out of any player's reach, in his time or any player who has played since, it's almost like he played a different game to what we're playing.'' Another tribute came from former Pakistani batsman Zaheer Abbas - considered the Bradman of Asia.

''During my trip to play for the World Eleven against Australia in 1972-73, Don Bradman came specially to meet me at Adelaide Airport,'' Abbas said.

''I consider it the happiest moment and great honour of my life.

I have preserved this picture and shall cherish it throughout my life.'' The NSW townships of Cootamundra, where Bradman was born, and Bowral, where he grew up, also plans to celebrate the Don's centenary.

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