1930s-era Queensland Aboriginal cricketer fast bowler Eddie Gilbert. Copyright unknown.
1930s-era Queensland Aboriginal cricketer fast bowler Eddie Gilbert. Copyright unknown.

FLASHBACK: Cherbourg paceman Don Bradman couldn’t face

WARNING: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander readers are warned this article contains the name and photographs of a deceased indigenous person which may cause sadness or distress. 

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OVER the next​ month the South Burnett Times will be looking back at the sporting icons and sporting history of our region.

Whether it's cricketers going on to play for Australia, or rugby league players winning premierships in the NRL, if you know of an athlete or a story that you think deserves some spotlight, send me an email at tristan.evert@southburnetttimes.com.au

1931 was the year and Eddie Gilbert was the man.

On November 6, in a Sheffield Shield match against Queensland, Sir Donald Bradman recalled facing five of the fastest balls he had ever faced.

Three years after making his test debut and breaking records on the 1930 Ashes tour, Bradman was dismissed for a duck at the hand of Gilbert.

Eddie Gilbert was an indigenous fast bowler who was taken from his home near Woodford at the age of three as part of a government policy on aboriginal people.

 

STRIKE BOWLER: Eddie Gilbert was renowned for his right arm fast bowls. (Picture: File)
STRIKE BOWLER: Eddie Gilbert was renowned for his right arm fast bowls. (Picture: File)

He grew up on farms while living in the Barambah Aboriginal reserve, now known as Cherbourg.

Gilbert was selected to represent Queensland after rising through the ranks as a colt, quickly making his mark on the competition.

He is most well known for his seven deliveries against New South Wales in 1931, bowling both the openers for ducks, which included Bradman.

Bradman faced five deliveries with one edging the top of his cap, another hitting his bat, knocking it and him to the floor, and a final one edging his bat, flying through to the keeper.

 

CRICKET: Eddie Gilberts played 19 Sheffield Shield matches for Queensland. (Picture: File)
CRICKET: Eddie Gilberts played 19 Sheffield Shield matches for Queensland. (Picture: File)

Despite strong advocacy for Gilbert to represent Australia, he was overlooked due to his unorthodox bowling method.

He possessed exceptionally long arms and could bowl at extreme pace off a very short run up.

This combined with his jolt forearm action led to suspicion that his arm bent on occasion.

It was filmed on multiple occasions with no clear evidence his bowling action was incorrect.

Gilbert went on to play 19 Shield matches, bowling 73 wickets for an average of 29.75.

He took a further 14 wickets in Queensland matches against touring West Indies and South African sides.

South Burnett


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