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Post by jahid789 on Sat Oct 02, 2010 9:34 am

W.G. Grace



Full name Dr. William Gilbert Grace
Born July 18, 1848, Downend, Bristol
Died October 23, 1915, Mottingham, Kent (aged 67 years 97 days)
Major teams England, Gentlemen, Gloucestershire, London County, Marylebone Cricket Club, South of England
Also known as The Doctor, WG, Doc
Batting style Right-hand bat
Relations Brother - EM Grace, Brother - GF Grace, Cousin - WG Rees, Cousin - GHB Gilbert, Cousin - WL Rees, Cousin - WJ Pocock, Cousin - WR Gilbert, Son - WG Grace jnr, Son - CB Grace, Nephew - H Grace, Nephew - NV Grace


Dr William Gilbert ("WG") Grace, MRCS, LRCP (born 18 July 1848 at Downend, Bristol; died 23 October 1915 at Mottingham, Kent) was an English amateur cricketer who captained England and Gloucestershire. He is universally known as "WG", his initials, which became a sobriquet. Right-handed as both batsman and bowler, he played first-class cricket for a record-equalling 44 seasons, from 1865 to 1908, and is widely regarded as the greatest cricketer of all time, having dominated the sport during his career and left, through his enormous influence, a lasting legacy. An outstanding all-rounder, he excelled at all the essential skills of batting, bowling and fielding, but it is for his batting that he is most renowned as he is held to have invented modern batting. He was particularly noted for his mastery of all strokes and this level of expertise was said by contemporary reviewers to be unique. He generally captained the teams he played for at all levels and was noted for his tactical acumen. He came from a cricketing family and his brothers Edward ("EM") and Fred ("GF") also played Test cricket for England.

Grace was a medical practitioner who qualified in 1879. Because of his profession, he was nominally an amateur cricketer but he is said to have made more money from his cricketing activities than any professional. He was an extremely competitive player and, although he was arguably the most famous celebrity in Victorian England, he was also one of the most controversial on account of his gamesmanship and his financial acumen.

He took part in other sports such as athletics, in which he was a champion 440 yard hurdler; and lawn bowls. He was a prime mover in the foundation of the English Bowling Association in 1903 and was elected its first president.


The statistics of his career are alone enough to explain why - more than 54,000 first-class runs (there are at least two different versions of the precise figure, so let's leave it at that) spread across 44 seasons, including 839 in just eight days of 1876, when he hit a couple of triple-centuries, and only one other batsman managed to top a thousand runs in the entire season; a thousand in May in 1895, when he was nearly 47; and 2,800-odd wickets costing less than 18 runs apiece. I suppose we might wonder why his bowling average wasn't even more impressive, given the ropey pitches on which Dr Grace played. No modern cricketer would deign to turn out on them, which makes his batting all the more wondrous, and comparisons with Bradman or anyone since quite pointless.


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