Cricket legend WG Grace’s runs and wickets stripped | Sunday Observer

Cricket legend WG Grace’s runs and wickets stripped

8 May, 2022
WG Grace
WG Grace

One hundred and fourteen years after the legendary Victorian era cricketer’s last match - and more than a century after his death - he has had 685 runs, 67 wickets and two centuries wiped from the records books.

In a ruthless move the Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack has decided that 10 of Grace’s matches were not at first-class level and as a result updated its records.

Grace, regarded as one of biggest ‘celebrities’ of Victorian England, can rest easily, however.

He still has the small matter of 54,211 first-class runs, 2,809 wickets and 124 centuries to his name from a career that spanned 44 seasons between 1865 and 1908.

Grace’s run haul is only bettered by four men, all pre-war cricketers, while he opened the batting for England beyond his 50th birthday.

But the move, which brings Wisden in line with the Association of Cricket Statisticians and Historians, does mean Grace’s historic feat of becoming the first player to score 100 first-class hundreds actually happened two weeks later than first thought - bad news for any owners of memorabilia which carries the original date.

Wisden editor Lawrence Booth told the Times: “The time has come to accept that the Almanack should be more concerned with record than romance.”

The situation is eerily similar to one iconic moment on Test Match Special when BBC cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew tricked pundit and former England opener Geoffrey Boycott into thinking there was a discrepancy with his first-class record. (BBC)