MATT MERCHANT, the Head Groundsman at Lancashire County Cricket Club, has been named Groundsman of the Year in the four-day category at an awards ceremony held by the ECB.
Matt has been Head Groundsman for five years having joined the ground staff in 1990 and played a major role in the preparation of wickets following the reorientation of the square in 2010.
Cricket Director Mike Watkinson said: “The award is worthy recognition for Matt and his team, especially given the challenges of recent years.
“The square was turned through 90 degrees in 2010. This was a major project which was managed in house and created 11 new pitches along with the refurbishment of the existing five. The success of the project is demonstrated in the quality of recent international pitches and this award recognises the outstanding four-day surfaces this year.
“I am delighted for Matt and we look forward to an exciting season of domestic and international cricket at Emirates Old Trafford in 2014.”
Matt added: “I am pleased to have picked up this award, which is a great credit to our team of ground staff who work extremely hard throughout the year.”
Andy Fogarty from Headingley received the runner-up prize. While, in the one-day category, the winner was Andy Ward from Grace Road with Emirates Durham ICG’s David Measor picking up the runner-up prize.
Commendations went to Stuart Kerrison (Chelmsford), Steve Birks (Trent Bridge) and Mick Hunt (Lord’s) in the four-day pitch category, while Andy Fogarty (Headingley) and Simon Lee (Taunton) were commended in the one-day category.
John Moden from Fenners, Cambridge is the winner for pitches at MCC Universities with Will Relf at Loughborough the runner-up. John Dodds at Scarborough was awarded the Outgrounds prize.
Every pitch is rated at the end of the match by each of the umpires with these ratings used as the basis for making the awards.
Caption: Matt Merchant, second from right, with his award.
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