Full Name :
John Kenneth Maunders
Favourite Shot :
Cricketing hero :
Justin Langer, Alan Lamb or Brad Hodge!
Skill or Hard Work :
Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.
So John before we get onto Sunbury let’s talk about your outstanding cricket career in its entirety! Where better to start than your first ever cricketing memory :
There’s a few! Firstly, watching my grandad and two uncles playing for a wandering team called Thames Valley Ramblers - my grandad was a key administrator at the club, one uncle was pretty good (to my untrained eye) and the other was pretty useless! I probably remember him best for offering salted peanuts to spectators out of his cricket box than to anything he did on the field!
In terms of me playing personally, I remember heading to my first ever training sessions around 9, feinting to be ill because I was so nervous - so good on my dad for not turning back! And then in one of my first games, it was an indoor one, and I was getting shouted at by my teammates for not backing up! I had no clue what they were on about!
Onto your first class career, you were lucky enough to play with some great cricketers, but who was the best batsman to watch from the other end :
Virender Sehwag! I was actually lucky enough to open with him for half a first class season and watched in awe from the other end - he made batting look ridiculously easy. We opened up against Middlesex once, and put on 50 with both of us on 20 odd. He then went from 1st gear to 5th in the blink of an eye, and was 140* before I’d reached 50?! He fell after we’d put on 199 (avoidance) but I knew then that I’d just witnessed one of the best displays of ball striking from one of the most talented players to ever play the game.
So would you say that is probably the best innings you’ve ever seen :
It’s certainly up there, but I think I think watching Chris Rogers’ score of 240 odd in 2005 pips it. We were playing Australia in a touring game before the infamous 2005 Ashes series, and he was pushing for a look in for the Aussie squad. He took me aside on the morning of the game and asked if I’d bat 3 for the match - usually I’d open up and he’d bat 3, but he explained that he’d only play for Australia if they saw him as an opener - a fair enough comment when you’ve got Ricky Ponting batting at 3! I didn’t want to stand in his way, so I was happy to drop down, though in the 1st innings I was in second ball after Brett Lee knocked over our other opener. He got a start in the first innings but felt he missed the chance to go big as he fell for 60, but the 2nd innings was one of the most amazing examples of self belief, desire and skill I’ve ever seen, as he pulled and swept his way to a double century against the number one Test team in the world. He obviously went on to wear the Baggy Green on many occasions, and I can’t help but feel he owes me a beer or two for letting him open!
Who’s the best captain you’ve played under :
Jeremy Snape, he was the Leicestershire T20 Captain.
Enough about your teammates, onto the opposition. Who’s the toughest bowler you’ve ever faced :
Easy one this - Mustaq Ahmed - I genuinely had no clue which way it was going.
Who has been your favourite player to bat with :
Obviously a few first class cricketers I’ve loved batting with, and Sunbury boys over the years, but I currently love batting with Sam Burgess who has a lot of talent and is improving all the time - it’s always nice when you see lads coming through the club, and even more so when you’ve worked closely with them. We get on very well, I enjoy batting with him up top but one down side is he can’t quite keep up with me between the wickets, but maybe that’s something for him to work on!
Another lad I loved batting with was Chris Green. We had a partnership against Normandy in 2015, who weren’t behaving too well in the field in the opening half hour - we went on to a partnership on 232 for the 2nd wicket before lunch which shut them up, Greeny scoring 178 and I finished with 109.
So now that we’ve gotten on to Sunbury let’s focus on the club for a bit! What’s your first memory at Sunbury CC :
I played my first game at Sunbury in U10s and still remember it vividly scoring a cracking 3* - I drove back that day wishing I could’ve hit it off the square like a few of my teammates, but my mum made me feel better saying I’d make a good nightwatchman! She always supported me and focused on the positives!
What’s your best ever Sunbury memory :
Now this is a tough one, because there have been so many good ones which will last a lifetime! If I had to single one out, it would be the home win v Leatherhead in 2015, to secure my first championship with the club. We were 30-5 at one point, but Chris Green and a young Sam Burgess batted superbly to take us to victory - winning a title with some of your best friends, can’t beat that feeling, with celebrations to match!
I’d honestly say winning a title over 18 matches is a great achievement, and though national success would be special, and almost was for us at Bristol, I’d always put a league win over a cup run!
The Best Sunbury Innings you’ve ever seen :
There have been many but I’d always look for one scored under the most pressure with lots at stake. Adam London’s 115* v Sutton in 2016 chasing was an innings of high class and immense calmness and judgement under pressure in a must win game. And then alongside that, Chris Green’s 105* v Leatherhead in 2015 to win the league, dragging us out of trouble from 30-5 to a competitive score batting with a younger player and tail in a game we knew we had to win was outstanding! Those two stand out for me!
And how about the bottom square? Best knock you’ve seen in a 3s, 4s or colts game :
Linky Sharma on more than one occasion, has shown he has the ability to take guard in the first over of the match with two slips and one man back at fine leg, but by the end of the over be faced with a long off and long on sitting at 20*!
Tremendous ball striking and his 100 last year batting through the innings shows another side to his game, and was an incredibly mature knock for the team under pressure.
A couple for the bowlers now - the best ball you’ve ever seen bowled at Sunbury :
I remember a few jaffa’s over the years, notably from Smudge, G-Train, Toddy, Virdi and Vishal but there are three that stick out!
1) Adam Stanier’s seed of doom to Delmont over at Reigate.
2) ORJ’s ball to Ealing's best batter in an evening standard cup final which still gets spoken about to this date, though mainly by him!
3) G-Train's ball to Grace v Wimbledon at home - an absolute seed which found it's way to me at 2nd slip!
If the oppo needed 10 to win off the final over, who do you want to see (Sunbury player) at the top of their run up :
This one is easy - Kevin Smith. He’s never let me or Sunbury CC down, and is a great death bowler with good change ups, understanding and self belief.
What would you say is the best Sunbury catch you’ve ever seen :
London caught a few good ones but Sam Burgess’ grab away at Cranleigh, out at deep mid wicket one handed over his head a few inches from the rope stands out!
Also Amar Virdi v Reigate at home, in the last over to win the match. It was a skier, and he was running back with lots of pressure on the outcome, but I remember loving the fact he was under it and called for it straight away, and from that moment I was never in doubt.
Manro catching Ollie Pope at midwicket was also a very good catch indeed and is certainly worth a mention, Pope couldn’t believe he caught it, and there were 10 others on the field thinking exactly the same!
Who’s your favourite person to just chat cricket :
I love talking cricket and have some great friends who I do this with regularly and there’s too many to name, though Gavin Spencer, Matthew Todd & I meet up fairly regularly. Though we share stories about our families, the conversation always finds its way back to cricket and is always the main topic of conversation!
I also love talking cricket to my son Charlie - his passion for the game is huge and we are always chatting about it.
How about a couple funny ones to end Maun!
What’s the funniest thing you’ve ever seen on a cricket field :
So, at my time at Leicestershire we had a physio who had a striking resemblance to where’s wally - tall, dark hair, glasses and a bit geeky! One day, a couple of us decided to order him a wally outfit, and then during the game he’d hide somewhere in the crowd to provide us with a bit of entertainment if the game was getting dull! The 12th man would come on and let us know that wally was in action, and we would all have to look for him and once found shout where’s wally. As soon as wally was found by one person, everyone would have to race to pop their hands on their heads - last man would pay for dinner or drinks that night, so it was hilarious looking around to see who would catch on last!
One day at Northants, we were struggling to find him, and the umpire (an international one I should add), standing at square leg, grasped onto what we were doing, spotted wally under the covers of all places, shouted wally and proudly had his hands on his head - it was hilarious!
Not too far behind would be a 2nd XI game for Leicestershire 2s v Derbyshire! Derby were 150-0, so we weren't best pleased in the field, before out of nowhere, a cow jumped the picket fence and came onto the pitch! We were of course willing the rest on because of the match situation, and about 25 ended up filling the whole of the off-side, causing the remaining two sessions of the day to be abandoned as the groundstaff tried to remove them!
Who would you say is the funniest person you know?
I think the vast majority would agree that you can't look past David Nash! Anything that comes out of his mouth is pretty hilarious (and often on the limit of what is acceptable!).
Who’s your favourite Sunbury player to sit next to in a dressing room :
Adam London to my right and Kev Smith to my left. London did have a very smelly jock strap, I think it didn’t see a washing machine for 18 matches and he definitely spent some time sweating in it that’s for sure, scoring heaps of runs and keeping too! He also always needed a Hayfever tablet, water, suncream, shower gel and spare batting gloves / bat - other than that he was an absolute pleasure to sit next to! His spot is now occupied by Conor Fulton so it’s a bit less noisy and needy but I can’t say the smell has improved much!