Durham's new signing from Nottinghamshire will be more nervous than anyone when his home debut gets underway on Sunday morning.
Since the Riverside (as the ICG was then called) opened in 1995 it has had Dave Measor's stamp on it.
Like that of his replacement, Measor's name will mean little to many cricket fans but since being promoted to head groundsman in 1998 he has shaped the way Durham play cricket.
In football or rugby, the job of groundsman is important. The length of the grass, the smoothness of the surface, can make it easier or harder to play the way the manager wants to. Cricket takes it to a different level.
The 22 yards of tightly-cut turf determines the whole course of a game. If it is too slow, a bore draw becomes more likely, too green and the game could be over rather quickly, too dry and the team with the best spinners can expect to win.
Having moved from the Trent Bridge groundstaff five or six weeks ago that responsibility now lies with Vic Demain. Like the players he has had his pre-season but the County Championship game against Sussex will provide his moment of truth.
"It will be extremely nervous," says Demain, blessed with unseasonably warm weather for his preparations.
"The tension has already stepped up a level this week. Probably for the first ball of the match I'll be hiding behind a roller somewhere hoping the ball bounces.
"We'll know within two or three overs how the pitch is going to play.
"Until those first two or three overs go down you're never confident - even if you've been at a place 20 years you can never say hand on heart what the pitch is going to do
"It takes a long, long time to understand a cricket square and at this point in the season it's very, very difficult to change anything.
"The bulk of our work will be done at the back end of the season, September through until Christmas. That's when we can have a real influence on it.
"This season will be very much one of learning, of trying to understand the make-up of the pitches, which ones play really well, which ones there may be a problem with.
"We've already identified a few pitches where the grass coverage is not fantastic for one reason or another - I'm not sure why that would have happened although I do believe a new type of grass seed was used last autumn.
That's something we have to look at.
"This season's going to be very much one of learning not just for me as a groundsman but for the players.
"I guess probably all the players here have grown up on pitches Dave has produced and they're only used to those.
"With the best will in the world I could come in and try to mirror what he's done but it wouldn't happen because my techniques will be slightly different. It's probably harder for the captain, who hadt to try and read different pitches."
The new Groundsman at the Riverside Vic Demain prepares a wicketThe new Groundsman at the Riverside Vic Demain prepares a wicket
Chester-le-Street's reputation as a seam bowler's paradise is actually behind the times.
Moving the ball can still be easier than on some grounds on days one and twobut as the pitch has settled removing batsmen has become a tall order in the second half of Championship matches, particularly on those tracks on the pavilion side.
It is a balance Demain will have to get right - but he at least has free rein over how he does it.
He added: "I have spoken about it to the coaches and the captain and they've both said the same thing, all they want is for me to produce the best cricket pitches I can and hopefully we get bounce and carry,.
"Durham will always back their seam bowlers and if they're good enough to find the edge of the bat they want those catches to the slips, which is understandable. That's my challenge. Other than that they've not asked me to do anything specific at all.
"The only thing which really matters is you get a home win.
"It doesn't really matter what the pitch does, if the home side win, they're happy.
" From an ideal point of view hopefully it would nibble around for the first day or so then flatten out into a decent batting pitch for two days with spin later on - but that's utopia, that rarely happens.
"As long as the pitch is consistent in what it does then I'll be happy with that."
There was a glimmer of hope for Scott Borthwick, the leg-spinner whose bowling is so often redundant at home.
Demain said: "We played an academy game on the pitch used for the uni game the Saturday after and a young leg-spinner in the academy took six wickets.
"From talking to people so far it seems t the pitches are a little bit drie.
"That may be to do with the conditions we've had so far, so maybe that will encourage a little bit of spin - but my guess is the pitches aren't going to change hugely."
If Sunday's is a date ringed in the diary, June 20 is another.
New Zealand are visitors for the ground's only international this summerand there will be more scrutiny on the playing surface for those few hours than the rest of the season put together.
Demaina dmits: "It's always in the back of your mind.
"You plan at the start of the season where every game is going to be played on the square and the international will be at the forefront of one's mind but no more so than the first Championship match.
"Working on the international pitch won't start until two, three weeks before the game, so at the moment it's going to be more a case of trying to get the outfield looking good, the square looking tidy and making sure the first Championship pitches go well. We'll worry about the international a little bit later on.
"Having matches on TV always presents one or two problems but they're the sort of problems we want to have if we want to work at this level.
"It's always the aim to work at the highest possible level one can and to be given the opportunity to do that here is something I'm looking forward to."
If there is one thing Demain is determined not to lose any sleep over it is the North East climate.
"Many years ago I learnt not to worry too much about weather," he says in his shorts and sunglasses.
"You can plan your day according to weather forecast and get things totally wrong. I'm a firm believer in taking whatever's given.
"The only thing we don't want as a staff is showery days. They're a nightmare when the covers are on and off all day but we'll take whatever we're given, we're not going to change it.
"The new outfields are wonderful. I saw days at Trent Bridge where under the old outfield you wouldn't have played any cricket at all. These suck any water through within ten, 15 minutes and they are fantastic."
Artilce sourced from :- Chronicle Live