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George Copeland Grant (9 May 1907 – 26 October 1978), known as Jackie Grant, was a West Indian cricketer who captained the side through several series. He was the first player in the history of test cricket to score two unbeaten fifties in the same test match.[1]

Jackie Grant
Jackie Grant.jpg
Cricket information
BattingRight handed
BowlingRight-arm fast-medium
International information
National side
Test debut12 December 1930 v Australia
Last Test14 March 1935 v England
Career statistics
Competition Test First-class
Matches 12 81
Runs scored 413 3,831
Batting average 25.81 32.19
100s/50s 0/3 4/20
Top score 71* 115
Balls bowled 24 1,541
Wickets 0 19
Bowling average 51.00
5 wickets in innings 0
10 wickets in match 0
Best bowling 3/24
Catches/stumpings 10/0 71/0
Source: CricInfo, 30 May 2019

Grant went on to be a teacher at a mission school called Adams College near Durban. This school was forcibly closed as part of Apartheid punitive education laws and Grant recorded the school's defeat in his book The Liquidation of Adams College. Adams College was later recreated and it is extant.

CareerEdit

Grant was born in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. He was educated at Queen's Royal College in his home city before he gained a place at Christ's College, Cambridge. Grant played first class cricket for the university.[2]

In 1930 he was offered the post of captain of the West Indies national cricket team. This was an unusual appointment as he wasn't a member of that team. More recent analysis indicates that Grant was chosen not because of his cricket ability which was competent and unexceptional but because of his race. At the time it was considered essential that the team be led by a white man despite the fact that the best members of that team were black. Selection bodies considered that if a leader was required then a white man was required.[3] (His team included Learie Constantine, who was black and who was later to be made Baron Constantine after being a leader as a Cabinet minister and as a High Commissioner for his country.)[4]

 
Grant is in the middle sitting between the older team management.

The Trinidad and Tobago team also included George Headley and the fast bowlers Herman Griffith and Manny Martindale. This was the real strength of the team. Grant captained the West Indies' team in the 1930-31, 1933, 1934-35 series. West Indies won three out of 12 Tests under his captaincy. At the same time as his cricket career Grant also played soccer for the Trinidad and Tobago national team.[2]

His younger brother Rolph Grant later took over the captaincy of the West Indies' side. "Jackie" had two other brothers who played cricket but without the same level of success. Rolph was not always picked for his university team and was not a first class cricketer, but he was a gifted sportsman being a national amateur footballer and being heavyweight boxing champion for his country. Later pundits put Rolph's selection down clearly to his race.[3]

A MissionaryEdit

George Copeland Grant was on the teaching staff of Adams College in South Africa where cricket had been introduced to the school in the 1930s. Copeland Grant raised the status of the game around Durban and made Adams the centre of this new sport.[5]

Between 1933 and 1945 the school became one of the most important schools for black education.[6] There was a poor patch until a new white head, Jack Grant, arrived from Trinidad in 1948. He did well, but Adams College faced major opposition from the government as the Bantu Education Act came into force. The government wanted black students to be prepared for menial jobs under white bosses and this was the opposite of what Adams was trying to achieve. The minister allowed the nearby Inanda Seminary School, for girls, to operate outside the act, but in 1956, it got to an ultimatum and the staff refused to stop teaching academic and aspirational education.[7]

The school held a service to mark the end of its operation. Grant took a leading role in this service when he paraphrased Hugh Latimer to say: "Be of good cheer, Adams College, we have these years lit a flame in South Africa as I trust will never be put out". The school was sold to the government and the head left South Africa. The important item was the school was not able to be called "Adams".[8]

This shocking end of a leading school was documented by George C. Grant in his book The Liquidation of Adams College.[9]

G. C. Grant died in Cambridge, England, at the age of 71.[10]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Records | Test matches | Batting records | Two unbeaten fifties in a match | ESPN Cricinfo". Cricinfo. Retrieved 22 February 2017.
  2. ^ a b "George Copeland Grant". bestoftrinidad.com. Retrieved 8 August 2013.
  3. ^ a b "The forgotten story of ... white West Indian cricketers". Talking Sport. The Guardian. Retrieved 8 August 2013.
  4. ^ Gerald M. D. Howat, "Constantine, Learie Nicholas, Baron Constantine (1901–1971)", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, January 2011, accessed 8 August 2013.
  5. ^ Odendaal, André (2003). The Story of an African Game: black cricketers and the unmasking of one of South Africa's greatest myths, 1850-2003. Cape Town: David Philip. p. 66. ISBN 0864866380.
  6. ^ Rich, Paul B. (1993). Hope and Despair: English-speaking intellectuals and South African politics: 1896-1976. London u.a.: British Acad. Press. p. 77. ISBN 1850434891.
  7. ^ Elphick, Richard (2012). The Equality of Believers: Protestant missionaries and the racial politics of South Africa. Charlottesville [Va.]: University of Virginia Press. ISBN 978-0-8139-3273-6.
  8. ^ Healey-Clancy, Megan. A World of Their Own A History of South African Women’s Education. UKZN Press. p. Chap 4. ISBN 978 1 86914 242 1.
  9. ^ Grant, George C (1955). The Liquidation of Adams College. 1957.
  10. ^ "Jackie Grant", espncricinfo.com, accessed 8 August 2013.

External linksEdit