Nazir Ali might have played just a couple of Tests for India – both against England – but he achieved something that no other Indian achieved before him. He was the first Indian bowler to dismiss the great Don Bradman and that happened on September 6, 1930. According to Wounded Tiger: A History of Cricket in Pakistan by Peter Oborne, Nazir was also the only muslim cricketer to dismiss Bradman.
Bradman had a wonderful tour of England, where he struck 974 runs (still a record) at a staggering 139.14 in the 7 innings he played, which included a career best of 334 in the 3rd Test at Leeds, out of which, he scored 309 in a single day.
Bradman was just 21 then and by the end of the series, Bradman was a household name. He became the most prized scalp. After Australia lost the urn to England previously, they were determined to win it back on this tour. They did not get off to the best of starts as they lost the first Test at Trent Bridge by 93 runs. However, they secured easy wins at Lord’s and then at The Oval. With these wins, Australia had regained the Urn once again.
The Australians were up against Club Cricket Conference in a 2-day match at Lord’s. This match was not given a First-Class status. Bradman once again got his eye in and raced away to a quick fire 70. And then it happened. Bradman played the ball straight to FE Whitehead, who did not make any mistake. Nazir Ali, therefore, created a bit of history, although there are high chances that he did not know what he achieved. Bradman never toured India and did not play against India till 1947, But Nazir Ali had picked up Bradman’s wicket 17 years before the great man even played against India.
The Australians, however, cruised an innings and 41-run victory but will be remembered for Nazir Ali’s unique, yet perhaps unrecognised feat.
Family of cricketers
Nazir Ali’s elder brother Wazir too played for India. The brothers played in the first ever Test for India in 1932. Wazir played all his 7 Tests against England. After partition, Nazir Ali migrated to Pakistan and served as the nation’s selector between 1952 to 1968.
Australians 278 (Don Bradman 70, Alan Kippax 68, Bill Woodfull 60; William Brindley 5-71, Tom Smith 4-70) beat Club Cricket Conference 133 (Gerald Summers 53; Alec Hurwood 5-14, Alan Fairfax 4-41) and 104 (Percy Hornibrook 4-37, Ted Beckett 3-1) by an innings and 41 runs.