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Personal information
Born 18 July 1848(1848-07-18)
Bristol, England
Died 23 October 1915(1915-10-23) (aged 67)
Kent, England
Nickname W.G., The Doctor, The Champion, The Big 'Un, The Old Man
Batting style right-handed batsman (RHB)
Bowling style right arm medium (RM; roundarm style)
Role all-rounder
International information
National side England
Test debut (cap 24) 6 September 1880 v Australia
Last Test 1 June 1899 v Australia
Domestic team information
Years Team
1869–1904 MCC
1870–1899 Gloucestershire
1900–1904 London County
Career statistics
Competition Test FC[a]
Matches 22 878 (870)
Runs scored 1,098 54,896 (54,211)
Batting average 32.29 39.55 (39.45)
100s/50s 2/5 126/254 (124/251)
Top score 170 344 (344)
Balls bowled 666 126,157 (124,833)
Wickets 9 2,864+12 (2,809)
Bowling average 26.22 17.99 (18.14)
5 wickets in innings 0 246 (240)
10 wickets in match 0 66 (64)
Best bowling 2/12 10/49 (10/49)
Catches/stumpings 39/0 887/5 (876/5)
Source: [Cricinfo],

William Gilbert "W. G." Grace, MRCS, LRCP (18 July 1848 – 23 October 1915) was an English amateur cricketer who was important in the development of the sport and is widely considered one of its greatest-ever players. Universally known as "W. G.", he played first-class cricket for a record-equalling 44 seasons, from 1865 to 1908, during which he captained England, Gloucestershire, the Gentlemen, Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), the United South of England Eleven (USEE) and several other teams. He came from a cricketing family: the appearance in 1880 of W. G. with E. M. Grace, one of his elder brothers, and Fred Grace, his younger brother, was the first time three brothers played together in Test cricket.

Right-handed as both batsman and bowler, Grace dominated the sport during his career. His technical innovations and enormous influence left 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. He is held to have invented modern batsmanship. Usually opening the innings, he was particularly admired for his mastery of all strokes, and his level of expertise was said by contemporary reviewers to be unique. He generally captained the teams he played for at all levels because of his skill and tactical acumen.

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

He took part in other sports: he was a champion 440-yard hurdler as a young man and also played football for the Wanderers. In later life, he developed enthusiasm for golf, lawn bowls and curling.

Footnote

• a)^ As described in Grace's first-class career statistics, there are different versions of Grace's first-class career totals as a result of disagreement among cricket statisticians re the status of some matches he played in. Note that this is a statistical issue only and has little, if any, bearing on the historical aspects of Grace's career. In the infobox, the "traditional" first-class figures from Wisden 1916 (as reproduced by Rae, pp. 495–496), are given first and the "amended" figures from CricketArchive follow in parentheses. There is no dispute about Grace's Test career record and those statistics are universally recognised.

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