HomeCricketWho is Called the Father of Cricket?

Who is Called the Father of Cricket?

Sachin Tendulkar, known as the “God of Cricket,” has set numerous records, embodying the spirit of the game with his extraordinary talent and dedication. Sourav Ganguly, the “Prince of Calcutta,” is celebrated for his aggressive captaincy and contributions to Indian cricket. Brian Lara, the “Prince of Trinidad,” is renowned for his stylish batting and record-breaking innings.

Similarly, Don Bradman is revered as “The Don,” acknowledged for his unparalleled batting average. Virat Kohli, dubbed “The King of Cricket,” is known for its incredible consistency and dominance on the crease. Wasim Akram, known as the “Sultan of Swing,” is praised for his exceptional bowling skills. Shane Warne, often called the “Wizard of Spin,” mesmerized fans with his remarkable leg-spin.

But have you ever wondered who is the Father of Cricket? It’s WG Grace. Modern cricket fans might not be familiar with him, but WG Grace Dr William Gilbert Grace is known as the father of cricket. His influence and achievements laid the foundation for the sport we love today. Dive into this article to learn more about the legendary WG Grace and why he truly deserves the title Father of Cricket.

Read More: Who is the God of Cricket?

WG Grace’s Early Life and Background

WG Grace was born on July 18, 1848, in Downend, near Bristol, England. He was the eighth of nine children in the Grace family, which was deeply passionate about cricket. His father, Dr. Henry Grace, was a cricket enthusiast and instilled a love for the game in his children. WG’s brothers, Edward and Fred, also played first-class cricket, but it was WG who would rise to unparalleled heights.

From a young age, Grace showed immense promise as a cricketer. His talent was nurtured in the family’s large garden, which served as an informal training ground. 

WG Grace’s cricketing journey began at the age of nine, playing for the West Gloucestershire Cricket Club, a team established by his father, Henry Mills Grace. By the age of 12, he had already made his mark, scoring his first half-century for the club with an unbeaten 51.

The batsman’s journey in cricket was full of controversies as he belonged to a privileged family. At 15, during a match for South Wales, the team captain considered dropping WG Grace after just one game. However, WG’s father intervened forcefully, warning the club that no member of the Grace family would play for them again if WG was excluded. The captain relented, and in the subsequent match against the Gentlemen of Sussex at Hove, WG scored an impressive 170 and followed it with 56 not out.

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WG Grace’s Cricketing Career and Achievements

WG Grace’s first-class career spanned an astonishing 44 years, from 1865 to 1908. During this period, he played 870 first-class matches, scored over 54,000 runs, including 126 centuries and 254 fifties, and took more than 2,800 wickets and 800 catches. Interestingly, in the year 1876, scored over 800 runs in just 8 days including two triple-centuries. Additionally, between the years 1868 and 1876, he scored 54 first-class centuries. These numbers, while remarkable, only scratch the surface of his contributions to the game.

Grace’s batting was legendary. He was the first cricketer to score 100 centuries in first-class cricket, a milestone he achieved in 1895. His aggressive style of play, characterized by powerful strokes and a fearless approach, revolutionized batting techniques. He was a pioneer of modern batting, combining technical skill with physical strength and mental fortitude.

In addition to his batting, Grace was a formidable bowler and a skilled fielder. His ability to bowl both fast and slow deliveries, coupled with his deceptive spin, made him a versatile and unpredictable bowler. In 1886, while playing for the MCC against Oxford University, WG Grace delivered an extraordinary bowling performance, taking all ten wickets in an innings for just 49 runs. This remained his best bowling performance in first-class cricket. He also took 100 wickets in a season on nine different occasions, truly cementing his place as father of cricket in the world. 

Despite being a legendary batsman in first-class cricket, his international career never really propelled to great heights. Grace made his international debut in 1880 against the visiting Australians at The Oval and validated his first-class prowess with a remarkable 152 in the first innings, which was also the first century for England against Australia. 

Unfortunately, he couldn’t sustain this success in subsequent matches, including the famous 1882 Test at The Oval where England’s loss to Australia marked the beginning of the Ashes. Ultimately, he concluded his international career in 1899 with 22 Tests and just under 1,100 runs to his name.

Even after international retirement, he continued to play for the London County Cricket Club, before finally quitting first-class level in 1908 when he was in his late 50s.  However, he kept playing minor cricket before quitting all forms of cricket in 1914 at the age of 66. A year later, at the age of 67, W. G. Grace passed away due to a heart attack. 

Further Read: Who is The King Of Cricket?

WG Grace: Impact on the Evolution of Cricket

WG Grace played a crucial role in transforming cricket from a pastime for the elite into a popular sport with mass appeal. His fame and popularity drew large crowds to matches, elevating the status of cricket as a spectator sport. The sheer magnetism of his personality and his exploits on the field captivated audiences, making him a household name.

Grace was a member of the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), which was cricket’s governing body at the time. Grace dedicated his time and energy to shaping and reforming the rules of cricket as a member of the club. It was during his time with the club that the use of three stumps in the wicket became standard. His contributions played a significant role in developing the sport. 

One of Grace’s significant contributions was his role in popularizing cricket in Australia. In a Test match between England and Australia in 1882 at The Oval, his controversial act of running out Sammy Jones in an unsporting manner incited Fred Spofforth, who retaliated with a stunning 14-wicket haul, resulting in England’s loss. The aftermath of this match in the British media sparked the birth of the Ashes. Grace left a lasting impression on Australian cricket, fostering a competitive yet respectful relationship between the two nations.


In conclusion, the legacy of W.G. Grace transcends generations, shaping the very fabric of cricket. From his unparalleled feats on the field to his instrumental role in refining the rules of the game, Grace’s influence endures. The Grace Gates at Lord’s Cricket Ground stand as a lasting tribute to his monumental impact on English and international cricket, ensuring that his name remains etched in cricket sporting history for eternity.



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