Sydeny:Australia will celebrate the centenary of their greatest sporting legend Donald Bradman on Wednesday by naming the star batsman's sleepy boyhood hometown "the world's spiritual home of cricket."
Schoolchildren, Hollywood stars, cricketers and Australians of all walks of life were expected to mark what would have been the 100th birthday of the famed cricketer on August 27. Bradman died in 2001 aged 92.
The accolades were already pouring in Tuesday, with Australia's current cricket captain Ricky Ponting praising the man known here simply as "The Don" as the game's untouchable superhero.
"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.
"He would have been the stand-out player whatever generation he played in."
The chairman of the Bradman Foundation, Michael Ball, said excitement was building west of Sydney in Bowral, population 11,500, where Bradman spent his early years and where a cricketing museum bears his name.
Ball said that among the celebrations, the Bradman Museum would announce that it would be expanded to include an international cricket Hall of Fame.
It would become "the world's spiritual home of cricket -- Don being by far the best cricketer of all time," Ball told AFP.
"It will not only be the Bradman Museum but it will be the international cricket Hall of Fame whose captain will be Don Bradman and the team will be obviously the best," Ball said.
"The initial team of 12 people will be from all over the world -- I don't know exactly who they will be but they will include people like (Sachin) Tendulkar from India."
The first 12 would be chosen by a panel of selectors headed by former Australian captain and long-time commentator Richie Benaud.
Among those likely to feature on the list would be West Indian allrounder Garfield Sobers and Britain's Leonard Hutton and Wally Hammond, Ball said.