The game of cricket is a global sport as more than a hundred nations play it worldwide. The ICC (International Cricket Council) currently has 106 national members. With each passing day, the number is increasing and many countries are registering themselves as associate members of the ICC. Meanwhile, the Test-playing countries dominate the game in terms of quality and revenue. At the same time, many Associate countries are also making giant strides in the cricket world. Furthermore, the ICC is trying its level best to make cricket truly a global sport by spreading to all corners of the globe.
If we travel to the past, cricket used to be a leisurely activity, long before organized cricketing bodies took over the game. However, the game has now turned professional and youngsters have to sacrifice a lot in their lives just to become professional cricketers and represent their country internationally.
There used to be a man named William Gilbert Grace who did this thing. He paved the way for the game of cricket. However, when WG Grace did all these things and dedicated his life just to cricket, the sport was neither popular nor there were so many perks associated with the game. There were also almost negligible investments in the game that have made cricket so lucrative these days.
Those were the times when the cricket tournament organizers had to work very hard to bring the sponsors on board. In case you don’t know, there used to be a time when the BCCI had to pay money to the national channel Doordarshan to telecast cricket matches in India. How have the tables turned now? All major global broadcasters want to strike a deal with the Indian cricket board.
The broadcasters sign deals worth billions of rupees with the BCCI just to gain the rights to telecast cricket matches in India. However, the game of cricket might not have taken off at all had WG Grace not worked so hard to uplift the game.
Who is called the Father of Cricket?
As mentioned earlier, the former English cricketer William Gilbert Grace is known as the father of cricket. The legendary player took birth on the 18th of August, 1848 near Bristol, England. At the age of 67, he passed away on the 23rd of October, 1915. He had two brothers named Fred Grace and E.M. Grace, while his grandfather’s name was George Pocock.
WG Grace played cricket in an era when Test cricket was the only format and the ODI format did not even exist. Other than the national side, he represented MCC, Gloucestershire, and London county during his career. In 1880, Grace made his Test debut against Australia. Nine years later, he played his farewell Test against the same opponents.
|Name||William Gilbert Grace|
|Date of Birth||August 18, 1848|
|Nickname||Father of Cricket|
Why is William Gilbert Grace called the father of cricket?
Any modern-era cricket fan would think that Sir Donald Bradman or the Indian great Sachin Tendulkar might be holding the tag of the Father of Cricket. However, WG Grace from England is called the father of cricket despite playing only 22 Test matches in his cricket career.
The biggest reason why WG Grace earned this massive tag to his name is because of the longevity and dedication he had for the game without any financial perks. Grace played a whopping 44 first-class seasons in English cricket. He played a total of 870 First-Class games at a time when cricket wasn’t a popular sport and had no perks attached to it. Still, Grace invested all of his life, time, and energy to make the game of cricket great.
William Gilbert Grace’s contribution to Cricket
WG Grace’s contribution to the game is unmatchable due to the sheer risk he took at that time. Those were the days when India was still under England’s reign. It was a time when even the Englishmen were not so rich and dedicating all of your time to the game was madness.
In his glorious first-class career, Grace scored 126 centuries and 254 half-centuries. It is also said that the legendary player learned every skill required in the game and worked on the grassroots to develop the game in his country.
WG Grace was truly an all-rounder as he could bat, bowl, field, and keep wickets. Thus, he deservingly earned himself the tag of the father of cricket.
If we talk about modern cricket, Sachin Tendulkar is popularly known as the God of Cricket, given he made the game popular and somewhat turned it into a religion. He also holds the majority of the cricket records in terms of batting. At the same time, modern-day great Virat Kohli is known as the King as he is closely approaching towards Sachin Tendulkar’s numbers.
However, cricket will never ever reach the heights it has reached today and the sole credit for it goes to WG Grace.