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My first experience of Gunn and Moore products was with the spring loaded stumps that help you practice without having to set them back up again every time they get hit. These are great for training, but in matches there's nothing like the real thing, and this is exactly what this product is.
You get three individual stumps, with a spiked end for rooting into the ground and a pair of bails for placing on the top. There are umpteen different types of stumps on the market, and these do rock in as quite an expensive set, around the £40 mark. You would hope that this means that they are good quality, and as yet I fail to see how they are anything but top notch.
The stumps go into the ground very well and the spike is long enough to ensure that they are quite sturdy. Naturally, this wouldn't prevent a cricket ball from knocking them out of the ground when bowled properly, but it's enough that it would take more than a strong gust of wind to knock them off, or even the bails that come with it. Some sets of stumps have bails that balance oh so precariously on the top, and living by the coast I find that a strong sea breeze can often have these off and render inefficient the judgment of whether someone is out once the bails are off.
The Gun and Moore set have a slightly deeper groove than I've seen on others, while they still maintain a level of accuracy so that if the stumps are clipped, even slightly, the force would be enough to knock them off. I like this balance of compromise as it seems that accuracy and quality win out together. The additional benefit to this is in the weight of the stumps - they're surprisingly light. I have played with solid heavyweight stumps and never really thought about it much, and although the lightness of these stumps were a little worrying at first, I soon realised that this was more of a benefit than anything else. They're surprisingly strong considering their lightweight feel, but this certainly helps for transporting them if you have other kit such as bats and pads and don't want to add to the burden; and it also means that they don't fight against the ground when they're put in and stay up straight easier without causing huge gouges in the ground from movement.
The wood is soft and needs to be treated occasionally, but then this is the case with most high quality cricket stumps, bails and bats. Constant contact with fast bulky objects such as cricket balls can take its toll on even the most durable of products, and so breaking these in is often a good idea. The best bet is to just keep checking them and use the occasional product on them to keep them solid and protected. The wood will often do the rest over time.
Really then, this is a quality product that you don't see around much because of the price. There are much cheaper sets of stumps available, but it really depends on how much you intend to use them. If they're constantly used, for practice or games or even both, then it may be an idea to get a pair of these. If it's irregular use then perhaps a cheaper set would be better value for you. Either way, I'd recommend these as a quality product.
Gunn and Moore make in my opinion the highest quality cricket merchandise, they are the product I would always go for if I can afford it when looking to buy any cricket piece of equipment. Gunn and Moore are famous for their white faced bat and iconic blue badge, they also sell other cricket equipment and one is the above cricket stumps.
These are real wooden cricket stumps and are only for use on a grass pitch, they have tapered ends (good for killing vampires in old Hammer house horror films) and grooved at the top for the bails (also included). They come in cream almost white but will as with all cricket stumps slowly turn brown with time but this process is good for the stumps as they become stronger over time as the wood seasons. As with all cricket wooden products do need to be looked after with the occassional use of linseed oil usually at the start of the season to give the wood a bit of protection. This is especially important for bats, less so for stumps as they don't get by the ball quite so often (well that's the hope).
The stumps have the weight and strength that any pair of stumps requires and are as far as I can tell as good as the stumps used in first class cricket so if the ball hits the stumps they will be knocked over. The grooves are the right depth and the bails sit loosely on the top, this is important in real games because the bails need to be disturbed for someone to be out.
These stumps are as with the bounce back versions I reviewed last week only really bought by cricket clubs because they are at the higher end of the price range costing about £40 for the full size stumps and £10 for the junior version.
So if your a serious cricketer then these are the stumps you want to stand in front and defend against that ball coming down towards you. I was always told that a true batsman should go through an English summer being bowled only once, clearly I'm not a true batsman as it tends to happen a little more often than that.