Australia's finest took to the crease in the Cricket World Cup this morning; but today also marks 10 years since the death of Sir Donald Bradman - probably the greatest batsman in the history of the game. In honour of the legendary Australian, we at Paul Fraser Collectibles thought we'd have a look at his career and the world of cricket collectibles.
Nicknamed 'The Don', Bradman was a master with the willow and a formidable opponent for every bowler. He scored 6,996 runs from 52 test matches - adding up to an incredible average of 99.94. Had he not gone for a duck in his last ever match - at The Oval, on the 1948 'Invincibles' Tour - his average would have been 100.
Alongside his unique talent and impeccable scoring record, an item closely connected to Bradman also holds the honour of being the most expensive cricket collectible - his 'baggy green' test cap, traditionally donned by Australian test cricketers during matches.
Bradman wore it on the aforementioned 'Invincibles' tour, most notably when he scored the last of his 29 test centuries at Headingley, Leeds. In 2008, the cap was purchased by an Australian buyer for just over $400,000, making it the most valuable piece of cricket memorabilia ever.
Alongside Bradman's baggy green, there have been several other notable sales. A medal from the very first test match between England and Australia in 1877 - awarded to Harry Charlwood - was sold in 2010 for £10,000.
In 1968, brilliant West Indian Garfield Sobers scored six sixes off of six balls - the first time the feat had been achieved in first class cricket. The ball used for four of those, signed by Sobers, sold for £26,400 in a 2006 auction at Christie's.
Also of note is a bat belonging to the 'Little Master' of Indian cricket, Sachin Tendulkar, which realised $93,619 and a 120-year run of John Wisden's famous cricket almanack which was sold for $142,000.
Finally, the very first scorecards from Lord's - used between 1795 and 1806 - were purchased by the MCC for £324,000 in 2005.
These cracking items provide strong evidence that sports collectibles make a great investment, as well as memorialising the achievements of greats like Bradman and Sobers. So, if you're currently glued to the World Cup, take the opportunity at lunch to check out what's on offer out there.