Sir William was a noted patron of English, particularly Sussex, cricket during its formative years in the early 18th century. He was a close friend of Charles Lennox, 2nd Duke of Richmond and it seems they had organised a number of cricket matches before 1725 when their involvement first becomes clear through a surviving letter that Gage wrote to Richmond in humorous terms about cricket.
Writing on 16 July, Gage bemoans that he was "shamefully beaten" the previous day in his first match of the year but says nothing of his opponents. He then looks forward to playing the Duke’s team next Tuesday 20 July and wishes his Grace success in everything except his cricket match!
Sir William's name appears in connection with a number of matches over the next few years but perhaps most notably with regard to his game against Mr Edward Stead's XI on 28 August 1729 . It seems that Sir William's team won this game by an innings and, if so, it is the earliest innings victory that we know of . Sir William was greatly assisted by the outstanding play of Thomas Waymark, the most notable of the early Sussex cricketers.