'Incredibly sad': Aussie cricket rocked by death of Keith Bradshaw

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Megan Schutt, Adam Zampa, Keith Bradshaw and David Ridgway, pictured here at a media event for the T20 World Cup in 2019.
Megan Schutt, Adam Zampa, Keith Bradshaw and David Ridgway at a media event for the T20 World Cup in 2019. (Photo by Mark Brake/Getty Images)

The Australian cricket community is mourning the tragic death of beloved executive Keith Bradshaw at the age of 58.

The former Sheffield Shield batsman's family announced on Tuesday that Bradshaw died on Monday afternoon after a long battle with cancer.

He was first diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 2008.

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Bradshaw played 25 first-class and nine one-day games for Tasmania before shifting his focus to off-field matters.

The Tasmanian had spent the past nine years as CEO of the South Australian Cricket Association after a stint with the Marylebone Cricket Club.

“Although many within the cricket family were aware that Keith was battling a serious long-term illness, the news of his passing at such a young age is devastating for cricket and all who had the good fortune to know him,” Cricket Australia chairman Richard Freudenstein said.

“Keith’s contribution to cricket in Australia and the UK cannot be understated. His legacy is an ongoing testament to a lifetime of achievement in the game.

Keith Bradshaw, pictured here at a press conference in Adelaide in 2014.
Keith Bradshaw (L) speaks at a press conference in Adelaide in 2014. (Photo by Morne de Klerk/Getty Images)

“His great skill as a cricket administrator was to be an innovator yet appreciate and understand the importance of tradition. 

"He had the clearest of vision when it came to strategy and yet the lightest of touch when it came to empowering his staff to carry it out.

“He fought his long-term illness with courage and fortitude and despite whatever he was going through, he always had a smile and lots of time for everyone he met.

“Cricket will be much the poorer for his passing and myself and everyone at Cricket Australia sends our love and thoughts to his fiancé Helen, children Juliet, Eliza, Donald and Jack and son-in-law Patrick at this time.”

Bradshaw took leave from his position in June to spend time with his family after his cancer spread.

He is credited with helping establish day-night Test cricket under lights in his roles with the MCC and the SACA, leading to the Adelaide Oval hosting the first pink-ball Test in 2015.

He previously spent five years as the MCC’s first non-English chief executive.

Australian cricket rocked by Keith Bradshaw's death

SACA president Andrew Sinclair said Bradshaw had "the trust and respect from all who dealt with him”.

“The remarkable thing with Keith was how consistent that respect was expressed internationally and not just within cricket circles,” he said.

“Keith’s reputation preceded him and on arrival he delivered much for the SACA membership of which many may not be aware. His ability to access international cricket contacts has enormously enhanced the SACA membership experience over the past nearly 10 years.”

Adelaide Strikers bowler Megan Schutt also paid tribute to Bradshaw.

“Extremely heavy heart today. An incredible human being, who shared so much love and kindness to those around him,” Schutt wrote on social media.

“Keith was a once in a lifetime man, he will be missed beyond belief… thank you for everything.”

Former South Australia player Theo Doropoulos wrote: “Whenever I would call to ask his opinion on a range of issues, for guidance or just to chat about cricket, he always made time.

“He would end by saying ‘Please always call, and I’ll always try to answer’. We have lost a beauty.”

Australian Test selector Tony Dodemaide wrote: “Terrific bloke who was unfailingly positive and cheerful.”

“Will be deeply mourned on both sides of the cricket field fence and both hemispheres.

“Uniquely embodied and enhanced the personalities of both Lord’s and Adelaide Oval as CEO - no mean feat! RIP Keith.”

SACA said a celebration of Keith’s life would be held at the Adelaide Oval in the coming days.

The devastating news comes at a difficult time for the Australian cricket community, with Test greats Ashley Mallett, Alan Davidson and Peter Philpott dying in the space of three days late last month.

with AAP

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