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W G Grace - Father of Cricket

  • William Gilbert "W. G." Grace was an English cricketer who contribution to the development of cricket is considered pivotal and for that reason he's also considered as the Father of Cricket
  • He played first-class cricket for a record 44 seasons, from 1865 to 1908, during which he captained England, Gloucestershire, the Gentlemen, Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), the United South of England Eleven (US
  • He was an all-rounder, right hand batsman and bowler, with exceptional cricketing skills in both departments, but more widely known for his batting contributions to the game
  • He was born on July 18, 1848 in Downend, Bristol and lived until October 23, 1915
  • He qualified as a medical practitioner in 1879, but went on to spend more time on his cricketing career earning more money and accolades as a professional cricketer
  • Grace with his towering presence revolutionised batting, brought cricket to a mass audience and transformed cricket in England into the unrivalled spectator sport of the summer
  • He scored more than 54,000 first-class runs spread across 44 seasons of county cricket, including two triple centuries & 2800 wickets at a bowling average of less than 18 runs per wicket
  • Grace played only 22 Tests for England at the International level, all of them against Australia & some noteworthy achievements in that format as well
  • Grace also led England in 13 Tests, winning eight and losing only two; the last time he captained the team was in the summer of 1899, when he was all of 50 years and 320 days old - no one has or will ever come close
  • In 1871, aged 23, he scored 10 centuries and 2739 first-class runs at 78.25 (the next best average was 37.66 with just one hundred). Even 31 seasons later, he scored 1187 at 37.09.
  • Grace played 870 first-class matches in his career, which is the third-highest on the all-time list, after Wilfred Rhodes (1110) and Frank Woolley (978)
  • His tally of 54,211 runs is the fifth-highest, while his haul of 2809 wickets puts him in 10th place
  • At age of 47-years, when he scored 288 he reached the milestone of scoring 100 centuries - the first player to reach the milestone
  • If one were to summarize his legacy, we could say that "if not for this good doctor, cricket might have remained a pastime rather than a great international sport"

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