4 Somerset square bashing all the rage among bowlers

The batsman who is out of touch has but one ground in mind in terms of feeling his way back into form. The bounce is wonderfully consistent, the straight boundaries are markedly short and bountiful run-making is a given. This is Taunton, where Phil Frost, five times groundsman of the year, tends a square beloved by anyone looking to boost his average, but bemoaned by Andrew Caddick, Somerset's premier bowler.

Frost has the burnished look of one who spends his life outdoors. What with that and his straggly white hair, he has the appearance of an old sea dog. Nobody doubts his expertise, not least Peter Anderson, the long-serving Somerset chief executive whose first task upon taking office in 1988 was to interview him for the post of head groundsman.

Frost, 49, grew up in the county and was intent on becoming a first-class cricketer. He has been with Somerset for 30 years and is at the ground at 7am every matchday. Yet he is presiding over a square on which, seemingly, bowlers do not have a prayer.

The first two championship matches of this season accentuated the dominance of bat over ball. There were 14 centuries scored, including triple and double ones, and Brian Rose, the director of cricket, has told him he wants a more even balance between bat and ball.


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