During Exiles’ recent match with Stollers on 11 September 2011, Simon Gundry brought up 1,000 runs for the club (he’s now on 1,011) and also took a hat-trick. The Exiles website caught up with the injury-prone veteran to ask him what recent events might have inspired such inspirational performances:
Simon, very well played, which of your feats in the Strollers game gives you the greater satisfaction – the longevity of 1,000 club runs, or the moment of inspiration required for a hat-trick?
Yes it’s good to reach 1,000 runs but I suppose I always knew that I’d get there eventually. The hat-trick is such a rarity in cricket that it was a particularly pleasurable moment.
Do you apportion anything in particular to your impressive performance? It was reported in the press that you were seen out on the town on the eve of the match…
I can’t deny it, that is true. I was given a rare night pass and let’s just say I made the most of it! Perversely it’s the not the first time in my life that I’ve performed surprisingly well with a hangover.
Which has been your favourite innings for the club to date?
I probably enjoy the knocks where it helps the team get out of trouble. My knock on tour at Hawes a while back springs to mind as does one against Commonwealth on my home ground (Haydon’s road).
What’s your favourite shot? Is there a pitch you play at where you always fancy you might score runs?
I like the straight lofted drive over mid off (not mid on Andy W!) when it comes off but I also enjoy cuts and pulls. No grounds stand out but strangely I tend to prefer the challenge of trickier pitches, but that might be because with my bowlers hat on, I can’t bear those banal, flat boring batting wickets like Chiswick.
In your most match comments on Sunday, you were very quick to point out your achievement in reaching 1,000 club runs. Are you a secret statto?
Perhaps more than I like to admit to myself! I’m not so interested in the day to day averages but I do like the big milestones – 100 wickets, 1000 runs, maiden 50s, club records and so on.
Have you ever taken a hat-trick before?
I’ve only taken one before for the civil service mid-week team. I reckon I’ve put myself in the position for a hat-trick loads of time but it’s only happened twice.
What was your thinking in bowling the hat-trick ball 3 feet outside off-stump?
Yes I agree – it was a strange tactic to employ! The first 2 balls were full, fast and straight and of course I was trying to bowl the same again. But fortunately the batsman went fishing and cut it back onto his stumps.
Are there any members of the Exiles squad you’ve tried to copy to improve your game? You must be envious of the amount of swing available to Phil Ling and the variety of shots in Martin Thomas’s locker?
Of course Martin and Phil are cricketing legends but I just try and do my best within my own limitations.
In fact, having such a cricketer as Martin Thomas in your side must be a difficult shadow to escape from – how do you cope?
I think it can only be inspiring to have an all-rounder of Martin’s ability in the side.
What targets are next on your cricketing radar? You’ve now got 94 club wickets – so the 1,000 runs and 100 wickets double surely seems the obvious one?
Yes that’s the only one I can think of. Oh and getting Thomas (and/or Tilly) playing for the Exiles – ideally with me in the same team!
As you are getting older and seemingly injured every other week, do you have plans in mind to ensure your long-term effectiveness as a cricketer? Have you been practising the art of depth-charge bowling?
No I’m going to keep doing exactly the same things I’ve always done until reality kicks home and I’ll retire – at this rate probably next season!
Right have to go – my physio is ready to give me my rub down…..
Simon, thanks for your time and good luck with your physiotherapist.