For a team sport, cricket may be the most individualistic of them all. It is batsman versus bowler. When being stared down by a 6ft 6ins quick, the bat is a cricketer’s only companion, it is crucial that your blade is one you can trust.
Gunn and Moore have been in the business for more than 125 years. With such heritage and expertise you can be sure you are getting a premium product.
From their Nottingham-based factory GM continue to produce top-class bats crafted from the finest English willow.
GM’s enduring quality and appeal continues to attract world-class players such as South Africa’s Quinton de Kock, New Zealand’s Ross Taylor, and closer to home, England and Surrey allrounder, Zafar Ansari.
Ansari has been using GM from a young age, and it is testament to their product that he has continued to do so throughout his professional career.
“I was very lucky to join GM when I was young they always offered the best bats and as a kid growing up that was thing I cared about, and ever since they have continued to do that.
“I have always valued the kit they have given me, the bats have always been the best in the changing room. And then you combine that with the service, it is a great brand.
“GM have showed a lot of loyalty to me as a player and they have always provided me with exactly what I need. I’ve always enjoyed using their kit. I am a cricketer and what I want is the best cricket equipment, I’m not too fussed with what goes on around it, GM have been great with me in that sense.
“I’ve known Richard Harris (GM executive) for a long time so we have developed a relationship that really helps, they know the equipment that I want, the type of bats that I use. You develop that relationship over time that is something you can’t fake.”
When faced with the daunting task of touring India and facing the likes of Ravichandran Ashwin, Ansari needs equipment that he can rely on. With GM that is exactly what he gets.
“People probably underestimate how important it is to form a relationship with your bat. Generally the longer I use a bat the nicer it feels. If you can use the same bat for half a season that is a situation you want, and that has been the case with GM. I always look around the changing room and people envy the bats that I have and that is testament to GM.”
Managing director Peter Wright says that one thing above all else is essential to GM.
“Performance is key. The first thing that sets GM apart from the rest is the performance of the bat. I don’t think anybody’s bats perform better than ours. No matter how nice a bat looks, if it doesn’t strike the ball well then you’re not going to be happy with it.
“By nature, the willow used for cricket bats only grows in England. Although willow from elsewhere is used for bats, it tends to be Kashmir willow, which is used for cheaper bats. Kashmir is heavier and more inconsistent than English willow, hence why you’ll never see a top player using Kashmir.
“About 25 per cent of our throughput is from trees that we buy in the locality, while the remaining 75 per cent is bought from a merchant in Essex who supplies around 80 per cent of the world’s English willow.”
The most striking thing when visiting the GM factory is the skill and passion of the bat makers. Their thorough attention to detail in every minutiae of every bat ensures that the final product is flawless. Decades of bat making expertise embellished by modern-day technology forms an elite combination.
“We are consistent in our manufacturing process,” says Peter. “Each bat of a certain shape is consistent within the range, so whatever level you buy at you are going to get the same shape and the same look.
“It’s a combination of heritage, experience and cutting-edge technology. Gunn and Moore want to help all players become the best player they can be, and by investing in us, players are investing in their game.”
This article by Owen Riley first appeared in The Cricketer’s Good Gear Guide March 2017 and is reproduced with their kind permission.