Cricket Victoria is saddened to learn of the passing of former Footscray, Victorian, Western Australian and Australian fast bowler Ron Gaunt on March 30 in Sydney aged 78.
Orginally from Perth, where he formed a fiery and often dangerous opening attack with Des Hoare for WA, Ron “Pappy” Gaunt was a right-arm fast bowler for the Bulldogs, playing 76 matches between 1960-61 and 1969-70.
He took 226 wickets at the excellent average of 16.00, with best figures of 8-38.
He took five or more wickets in an innings on 13 occasions and 10 wickets in a match once.
He became a stalwart of the club, assisting young fast bowlers including Merv Hughes and Tony Dodemaide in their developing years.
Now Chief Executive Officer of Cricket Victoria, Mr Dodemaide said Gaunt would be greatly missed.
“Pappy Gaunt was a terrific contributor to cricket, at international and state level and for his club Footscray (now Footscray Edgewater),” Mr Dodemaide said.
“He was a legend at the Western Oval, with his classical action and lion heart.
“His influence lived on well past his playing days at Footscray, being a patient and knowledgeable bowling coach for a young Merv Hughes and myself in those important formative years.
“He will be greatly missed.”
In first-class cricket, Gaunt played 85 matches, taking 266 wickets at 26.85, with best figures of 7-104.
He toured New Zealand with Australian teams in 1957 and 1960 and was flown to South Africa in 1957-58 as a replacement for the injured Ian Meckiff and John Drennan.
He was also a member of Richie Benaud’s victorious Ashes tour of England in 1961.
Gaunt played in three Tests, debuting at Durban in January 1958.
His second Test was at The Oval in 1961, taking 3-53 in the first innings, and his third Test was against South Africa at Adelaide in 1963-64.
In 18 first-class matches for Victoria, Gaunt snared 67 wickets at 26.36 including best figures of 5-57, while tallying 175 runs at 11.67 with a highest score of 32 not out.
Cricket Victoria extends condolences to the Gaunt family and the Footscray Edgewater Cricket Club.