Mike Brearley, the former England captain, will deliver the 11th Sir Donald Bradman Oration in Melbourne on October 23, Cricket Australia (CA) announced on Tuesday (August 27).
James Sutherland, the CA's chief executive officer, made the announcement on the 105th birth anniversary of Bradman and said he was "delighted" that Brearley had accepted the invitation. "This year's Oration falls between two consecutive Ashes series and I am delighted that Mike, a former Ashes captain and lucid thinker on the game, is able to present this year's Oration," said Sutherland.
Brearley captained England in 31 of his 39 Test matches, leading the team to a 3-1 triumph in the 1981 Ashes series. His first-class career spanned 22 years, and he was also the president of the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) in 2007-08. "He (Brearley) has outstanding insights into both the modern game and its place in the world and also into the history, tradition and culture of cricket as a global sport," said Sutherland.
"The Bradman Oration is not about Sir Donald Bradman, who was born 105 years ago today. It honours his name via the presentation of a discussion on contemporary cricket's issues and direction, and on the importance of the spirit of cricket."
Brearley said he was honoured to be asked to present the Oration, especially given that it falls between two Ashes series, the first of which ended on Sunday (August 25) with England winning 3-0. "There is hardly any comparable rivalry in cricket - with the elements of myth, of ancient colonial attitudes, and of matches fought with utter passion but also with fair-mindedness," said Brearley. "One remembers the moment in the Centenary Test at Melbourne when Rod Marsh recalled Derek Randall at a crucial stage, and the time when, at the moment of victory at Edgbaston, Andrew Flintoff put his arm round Brett Lee.
"More broadly, there are so many issues in and for cricket now - the future of Test cricket, T20 cricket and what it brings, the working of the Decision Review System, as well as inherent questions about sport's meaning and role in a fulfilled life."
The Bradman Oration was inaugurated in August 2000, six months before Bradman died. The first oration was presented by John Howard, the then Australian Prime Minister. Subsequent orations have been presented by Sir Michael Parkinson, Richie Benaud, Alan Jones, General Peter Cosgrove, Greg Chappell, Ricky Ponting, Sir Tim Rice, Rahul Dravid and Gideon Haigh.