The Oval wins top ground award

Editorin Cricket

Oval Groundsman wins top title

By Editor

Surrey County Cricket Club Head Groundsman, Bill Gordon, has won the Groundsman of the Year award. The ECB award was presented to Bill for preparing the best pitches in three and four day cricket. Bill Gordon said that it was a great honour to win the award again, stating that his team have worked hard throughout the season and were now already preparing The Oval for the Ashes series next summer. Pitch rankings are compiled at the end of the season, from the marks given by both umpires at the end of each game during the year.

This is the third year running that The Oval has achieved top honours, Bill's predecessor Paul Brind picked up the award twice before taking early retirement through ill health last November.

The high quality of the wickets at Somerset's County Ground in Taunton have also been acknowledged by the cricketing authorities. Head Groundsman Phil Frost was named as the winner of the award for preparing the best one-day pitches in the country but also came runner-up to Bill Gordon in the three and four day match category.

Headingley's Andy Fogarty claimed second place behind Frost for the quality of Yorkshire's one-day pitches.

In the other categories, Kent CCC's outground at Beckenham Cricket Club, won the 'Best Outground award' ahead of Whitgift School which hosted Surrey's home games against Lancashire in the Frizzell County Championship and the Tote sport league match last August, both fixtures were credited as a huge success.

The best University Centre of Cricketing Excellence (UCCE) ground was Cambridge University's Fenners, which has hosted first-class cricket since 1848. Second place went to The Parks at Oxford University.

Len Smith, Glamorgan's Head Groundsman, was commended by the ECB for the high quality of the club's wickets at Sophia Gardens and St.Helen's.

Also commended were the grounds at Trent Bridge, Grace Road, Canterbury and Derby, as well as the Outgrounds at Oakham School and Cheltenham College

Groundsman of the Year Award details in summary

3 & 4 day matches

1-day matches




The Oval







Whitgift School




Derby Trent Bridge

Oakham School

Trent Bridge


Grace Road, Canterbury


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