Page last updated at 20:30 GMT, Tuesday, 12 May 2009 21:30 UK

Historic cricket bat goes unsold

WG Grace scored more than 54,000 runs in his career

The bat used by cricket legend WG Grace to score his 1,000th Test run has failed to sell at auction.

Auctioneers estimated it would reach between £25,000 and £30,000 but it did not make its reserve price at the Sotheby's sale in London on Tuesday.

William Gilbert Grace hit the runs at Lord's against the Australians in 1896 in a match England won by six wickets.

The bat is autographed by former Prime Minister David Lloyd George as well as Grace and other cricketers.

During 44 consecutive seasons he scored 54,896 first-class runs, 126 centuries and took 2,876 wickets.

Grace, who was born in Downend, South Gloucestershire, captained both England and Gloucestershire cricket clubs during his career.

He died aged 67 in 1915 and is one of the sport's most iconic figures.


Auctioneer Graham Budd speaks of his excitement about the bat before the sale

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