William Gilbert Grace, known as W.G. Grace or simply ‘The Doctor’ to cricket supporters around the world, was a professional cricketer who had a major impact on the development of the sport during his career in first-class cricket.
As one of English Cricket’s most famous players, W.G. Grace, who is the father of cricket, is considered one of the game’s all-time greats. He was also an early pioneer in two fields that are now standard practice for new players: physical training and nutrition.
Grace was born in Downend, near Bristol, in 1848. He developed an early interest in cricket and played for the village team from an early age.
Grace was educated at Clifton College, which he left at seventeen to become a clerk for a lawyer. However, as he had not studied or trained as a lawyer, he found it difficult to practice. After three years of study and training, he became a qualified solicitor’s clerk in 1869 and continued to work until taking up cricket professionally fourteen years later.
With his father dying in 1868, Grace turned to cricket when he left school at eighteen to support his mother and three younger siblings. He soon showed his potential, and in 1870 he was taken on to the ground staff at Gloucestershire by the club captain John Fisher.
That same year he became a Freemason at the Apollo Lodge No. 357 in Bristol. On 10 September 1871, Grace led Clifton College Past and Present to victory over Old Cranleighans at The Oval. His performance was noted by Surrey cricketer Tom Lockyer, who advised him to join the county club at nearby Kennington Oval.
Why Is He Known As Father Of Cricket?
William Grace played his first first-class cricket match for Surrey two years later against Yorkshire, scoring 61 runs before being bowled out by Fred Morley. He started his cricketing career slowly, but after a couple of years, he became one of the best players in the country with a first-class average of over 30. By 1882 he had scored 8,000 runs and become the most successful cricketer of his day. He also played 22 test cricket for England and was one of the early members of MCC.
For more than two decades, Grace was regarded as cricket’s greatest all-rounder and one of the game’s great captains, who was noted for his courage, skill, and gentlemanly conduct on and off the field.
He was also an early pioneer in two fields’ now standard practice for new players: physical training and nutrition. Apart from his excellent all-rounder career in cricket, he helped cricket to evolve and to reach the larger audience of that time. In addition, he helped the game reach out of England to the world and make sure that it remained popular in England.
Facts About The W.G. Grace
You will be amused to hear that he inherited the cricket from his family. He was from a cricketing family with at least 13 relatives playing test cricket. But he, alongside his brothers, named the first persons from his family to play for England. Thus there are other facts that you should know about William’s Grace.
- In his first-class cricket career, he has scored 126 centuries and 254 half-centuries and established himself as one of the best batsmen of first-class cricket.
- He was a great bowler, batsman, and fielder; thus, he was an all-rounder, which is why he was widely known as the father of cricket.
- In a match, W.G Grace refused to walk off the pitch after getting bowled. He then told the players that the fans had come to see him play and not the others.
- William Grace started his cricket in days of amateur and then became the legendry cricketer. No one has ever thought this might happen, but his extreme talent and passion for cricket made him achieve all the milestones.
- He also was a full-time Doctor, and he remarkably managed his cricket and professional life. He was known for his knowledge of medicine and was a very generous man.
- He played a vital role in making cricket famous. His rules and reforms influence modern cricket and the way it will be played. He was a rule setter.
He was the first man who took the opportunity and bridged the gap between the amateur and then known as professionals. He was part of both the team and made history in cricket, which took match fee for his single game.