Two Overs At ... Gavin Greaves

GavEast Lancs Paper Mill's beardy all-rounder Gav pops into the hotseat to chew over the pros and cons of the GMCL, the possible decline of local cricket, and shares his views on lots more besides. A nice chat with one of the good guys.

For those who don't know you, describe yourself and your cricketing background in 100 words
I'm the chubby one with the ginger beard down at East Lancs. I fancy myself as a bit of an all-rounder but unfortunately my captains don't!!! I've played for ELPM since I started playing cricket at 16 in 1998, barring 1 season for Radcliffe seconds in 2003. I love cricket banter but I'm probably guilty for taking it too far pretty much every time!

Who are your cricketing heroes?
As an all-rounder myself I guess I tend to gravitate towards them. I'd say Ian Botham when I was a kid. Jaques Kallis and Paul Collingwood were my unsung heroes growing up. Flintoff was entertaining but wasted what he had! I'm enjoying watching Stokes and Woakes at the minute.

How has ELPM adapted to joining the GMCL - pros and cons?
I think we were guilty of massive underachievement last year with the team we had. Without sounding too disrespectful I think we let our standards drop to some of the opposition's last year. Now we're in our second year I think we have definitely come on as a club. Louis is back after his knee surgery, Danny McCaffrey is back after a hiatus of around 15 years and we have managed to get Smalley back after a couple of years in the big time. That's definitely improved our bowling attack with those 3 in the side.

How do you see your club developing over the next few years?
I think it's important for the smaller clubs like us and to an extent yourselves to show ambition and to try to get the best standard of cricket down at their clubs as possible. We have shown this by re-signing Smalley to help us with our push for promotion. Hopefully this goes as planned and then its onwards and upwards.

Favourite teammates and favourite opponents - past or present?
I think it's a bit of a toughie to name a favourite teammate/s as I've played with some real characters and also with close friends. I would say that my favourite batting partner would be Wadey. We seem to have a good understanding of each other's games and we've had some very large partnerships in our time. Favourite opponents would be either Totty's as we always have a good laugh with you guys or Failsworth Macedonia as I always seem to score runs against them.

What do you do away from cricket?
I'm a roofer by trade but managed to worm my way into the office. I would say I'm your typical family man although with 4 kids it's a big family! I love spending time with them in winter but when cricket season starts they tend to get in the way a little! ;-)

How do you think the standard of local cricket has changed since you've been playing (at all levels)?
I would have to say that I think it's gone downhill. It's hard to tell really as I guess some larger clubs can afford to have 11 very good players in their side but that only makes the imbalance greater at the other end of the spectrum. Would I have got in ELPM's first team back in 1998 with my ability now? Id like to think maybe but I'm sure some of the old heads will tell me "not a chance". (Yes, easily - Ed)

What's the best ground you've played at, your favourite to play on, and which ones don't you like?
Best ground would probably be Radcliffe... it's certainly the biggest! Favourite would either be our own or at Failsworth. Nice and small and easy to top edge a 6! Worst grounds would be Catholic Club and Ashton Ladyboys! Can't score a run for toffee at either of them!

Name your all-time world cricket XI?
Dravid, Tendulkar, Lara, Sangakkara, Ponting, Botham, Root, Warne, McGrath, Walsh, Ambrose.
I know they're all my era but I can't comment on the older guys as I've never really seen them play.

Favourite book, movie, TV show?
Books Harry Potter, Movie Dumb & Dumber, TV Show Game of Thrones

Tell us some gossip about one of your teammates?
I've not really got any gossip other than I think Jack Crompton fancies our tea lady! He can be heard in the changing room singing Ali G's 'Julie'!

If you could change one thing about your club, and one thing about the GMCL, what would they be?
Club wise I would say better facilities. A new club house with changing rooms built in would be nice! GMCL wise I'm not so sure. They got it right this year with splitting the 1st team cup into 2 groups to give more clubs an opportunity. Possibly this whole club umpire thing maybe, although it actually seems to be working at the min! Our club umpire loves giving us out!!!

If you'd like to take a turn in the hotseat, please drop Doc P a line via and we'll whizz you over some questions. We'd be delighted to hear from players, supporters, partners, friends of the club or anyone who fancies taking part - all welcome!

I Will if You Will Biffaward

Beryl Avenue, Tottington, Bury, BL8 3NF
Twitter: @TottyStJohnsCC