What follows, excerpted from Charles Igglesden's 1932 tome Those Superstitions, came as a shock to me. I had always thought of Grace as a genial, happy-go-lucky old codger, certainly not the sort to fret irrationally about silly personal observances. Apparently, though, and to my hysterical incredulity, he did: "That greatest of cricketers, W. G. Grace, was obsessed with the superstition that if his name in the batting list was opposite an even number he would make no runs. That, however, is not the reason. He always went in first, and hence his name was opposite No. 1. It was his obvious and enviable position."
I was less surprised to learn that the highly-strung Hornby* was highly superstitious, too. Igglesden writes, "[T]he dashing Lancashire captain was beginning the innings of his county when the spectators saw him pause as he walked to the wicket, and then turn back to the pavilion. He had glanced at his pads and found that they were reversed -- on the wrong leg. 'I'm going in last instead of first,' he explained. 'If I went in now I should have the bad luck to run myself or somebody else out.' He went in last, but bad luck dogged him, and he ran out his partner in trying to steal one of those short runs for which he was famous."
* Who shared Andrew Symonds's Indian nickname.