A Gunn and Moore XI

When you’re sent a line-up and your first reaction is “Wow. What an XI”, you know you’re onto a good team. Anyway, Alex Ferguson put together his best-ever Gunn & Moore XI following on from a piece on this ‘ere blog about the All-Time Duncan Fearnley XI.

While Duncan Fearnley had its heyday, GM has boasted a constant stream of fantastic cricketers. And it’s not about to go away soon – particularly with the sponsor’s team sponsorship deal with South Africa.

The bats, with their beautiful blue and green colours, were amazing too look at, and even if you were one of the crappiest cricketers around, you would still look bloody good throwing one around the school nets. Everyone who had one at school just seemed….better.

Speaking of ‘better’, our all-time XI is one for the ages. We’ve got a batting line-up that we’re sure wouldn’t collapse like England’s frequently do, and we’ve got a couple of bowlers that would take a few wickets. We hope.

Our opening bat pairing of Haynes and Smith needs no real introduction. Between them they put up nearly 17,000 test runs, and led their teams through successful spells. Gibbs at 3 is also one of the most exciting talents to come out of South Africa.

Michael Vaughan, who would probably moan to the dressing room and irritate them, would be a solid No.4, bearing in mind his 18 Test Centuries, and he would prove a nice 4-5 pairing with one of the world’s best all-time captains Steve Waugh (10,000 runs, 32 hundreds, avg 51.1), who would not only wear the baggy cap in the field, but also at the Wimbledon Final (much to the chagrin of Shane Warne).

Then would be England captain Joe Root – still one of the best three batsmen in the world right now on his day, with his teammate and England vice captain Ben Stokes, who can not only provide firepower but also be a game-changer with the ball if needs be. Although Stokes might be seen as a little bit of a step-down from Jimmy Adams, we prefer what Stokes can give with the ball.

Wicket-keeping would be South African Quinton De Kock. He’s had a lean spell for the past few months, but he’s a brilliant keeper, and can be moved up the order for a run chase or to get second innings runs at speed (something that Dean Elgar could not be accused of doing).

Bowling-wise, New Zealand legend Richard Hadlee (431 wickets) is one of the best bowlers of all time – as well as being no slouch with the bat (3,124 runs, 27.2 avg) and partnered with ‘Big’ Vernon Philander (205 wickets) would cause much upset to batsmen. With Stokes coming it after them, that would be terrorising.

Oh, and there’s this Indian bowler called Anil Kumble who could keep it tight, too. Apparently he had a pretty good career (619 wickets, 2.69 Economy rate). 

  1. Desmond Haynes (West Indies)
  2. Graeme Smith (South Africa)
  3. Herschelle Gibbs (South Africa)
  4. Michael Vaughn (England)
  5. Steve Waugh (Captain, Australia)
  6. Joe Root (England)
  7. Ben Stokes (England)
  8. Quinton De Kock (wk) (South Africa)
  9. Richard Hadlee (New Zealand)
  10. Vernon Philander (New Zealand)
  11. Anil Kumble (India)

12th Man: Marcus Trescothick. It was between him and Desmond Haynes, but Haynes squeezed it because of his better ODI average (41.4 to 37.2) and his longevity. Mind you, that’s one hell of a choice between the two, eh?

Alex Ferguson


  • Sorry but I’d stick Derek Randall in for Root. I know I’m showing my age but the 174 in the ’77 Centenary Test is one of the all time great knocks and for that reason alone he should be in there for me.
    Great read though. Really enjoyed it.

  • I’d be inclined to pick Ross Taylor for Gibbs and move Vaughan up to No.3.

    Either that or pick James Vince….

  • Hadlee was a better batsman than those figures suggest. He regularly scored runs (often with Jeremy Coney) when the top order had failed and his team were in desperate trouble. He was the first man to do the double of 1,000 runs and 100 wickets in a season after the championship was shortened. And the fact was he was chosen as a bowler so had more licence to hit out as a batsman.

  • Would be tempted to try and fit Clive Rice in there somewhere – denied a test career through apartheid. 48 FC 100s and almost 1000 wickets. I’d make him captain too.

  • Rice would be the perfect compliment to Hadlee given their time at Notts together, but I don’t know who he’d replace- Stokes maybe?

  • As a Gunn & Moore user in my early days I am in more illustrious company than I realised. I would go back to Ken Barrington, being a legitimate number 3. Also the first bat I owned was one of his discards. Incidentally I still have it, though there’s almost as much tape as wood now, so I daren’t use it for more than a spot of keepy-uppy.
    Pretty predictable in Kandy once we’d won the toss, as we looked to play shots from the off with a couple making enough runs to give us a healthy total. Butlers continued good form in the middle order shows the wisdom of keeping him there and not promoting him. There’s no doubt Curran’s batting is becoming important. For a youngster he has a remarkable command of his own game. He reminds me, as a Warwickshire man, of Paul Smith when he first hit the scene as a fearless 17 year old all rounder. I remember Smith’s first game, a Sunday league affair against Kent, where he batted at 6. His first shot deposited a young Dilley into the pavilion and we all thought a star is born, but his rock-roll lifestyle ended his career all too soon. It will be interesting to see where Curran ends up, form permitting, in a few years time. Maybe we should try him at 3.

  • Root or Vaughan rather than Alan Border? That seems like jingoism at its most extreme!

    I also remember the emergence of Paul Smith. I think Curran is a better bat; Smith was a bit of a banger whilst Curran’s technique looks sound. However, Smith was much the better bowling prospect, having been described by Clive Lloyd as ‘the fastest white bowler on the planet as a youngster. A shame the drugs ruined his career.’


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