0 Durham cricket ground staff hit weather for six

Two days of top-level cricket concluded in the North-East yesterday despite the worst summer downpours in living memory.

There was a comfortable victory for England in Saturday's one-day international against Australia in front of a sell-out 17,000 crowd at Chester-le-Street.

Less than 24 hours later, Durham could not quite overhaul Lancashire's 133 total with a thrilling tie in yesterday's final T20 group game at the Emirates International Cricket Ground.

But it was the Durham County Cricket Club ground staff who emerged the real winners at the weekend.

Head groundsman Dave Measor and his six-strong team worked round the clock to ensure the weekend's cricket could proceed, despite more than 2in of rain falling on Friday.

They earned the plaudits of the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and the international cricket media for pulling off two uninterrupted days of play.

Durham's chief executive David Harker said the momentous efforts of the ground staff, combined with an investment in drainage at the ground paid off for the players and spectators alike.

"Looking at the rain that fell on Friday it was not looking too promising, although we remained hopeful, given the slightly improved forecast for Saturday.

"But we have to say a big thank you to the head groundsman and his team.

"I went over after Saturday's game to pass on my own thanks and there was also praise from the ECB's chairman and chief executive, Giles Clarke and David Collier.

"The ground staff put in a huge amount of work, in terrible conditions for much of last week, up to nightfall on Friday.

"Then, they were up in the early hours on Saturday to try to ensure the international went ahead.

"It was only that, plus the ECB's £600,000 investment in new drainage which has been put in over two recent winters, that ensured the two days' play could go ahead."

Article Sourced from the Northern Echo

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