A CRICKET ball signed by the legendary cricketer Don Bradman and the rest of the 1938 Australian team is being sold by an Essex-based auctioneer.

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The ball was signed after the Headlingley Ashes Test, and features in the next country house sale being held by Sworders Fine Art Auctioneers on Tuesday October 23.

The current owner’s grandfather, a keen cricket fan, waited outside the team hotel to ask the players to sign the ball. The 1938 Headingley test is regarded as one of the Ashes top matches. Don Bradman, who captained the Australian team, claimed it was the best test he had ever played in. The tourists defied poor light in the match and Bradman went on to score 103 to beat England by five wickets.

Alongside Bradman’s autograph are the signatures of McCabe, Badcock, Barnes, Barnett, Fleetwood-Smith, Hassett, McCormick, O’Reilly, Waite and Ward.

The ball will be sold at auction at a guide price of £500-£700.

Sworders’ managing director, Guy Schooling, said: “Sporting memorabilia is always highly sought after at auction and what’s particularly impressive about this piece is that it dates back to such a key match in the life of a legendary player.

“We expect a lot of interest from players, fans and collectors alike, all looking to be bowled over by a piece of sporting history.”

The auction also features photographs of the 1903 Delhi Durbar marking the coronation of King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra. The spectacular event marked the new King and Queen’s appointment as the Emperor and Empress of India. An album of photographs taken at the event include images of the parade of jewelled elephants and the Durbar organisers Lord and Lady Curzon. It will be sold at auction at a guide price of £600-£800.

A specialist coins and medallions sale will be held at Sworders’ auction rooms in Stansted Mountfitchet on Monday October 22.

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