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Gordon wins again

Bill Gordon

Bill Gordon (right) has won the coveted groundsman of the year accolade six times

Surrey head groundsman Bill Gordon has won his sixth straight groundsman of the year award after taking this year’s title.

This year’s awards were dominated by the Surrey groundsmen who not only picked up the four-day category but also won the one-day category as well.

Stuart Kerrison from Chelmsford was runner-up in the four-day category whilst Mike Grantham from Canterbury was named runner-up for one-day pitches.

Yorkshire’s Micky Stewart and Christian Dunkerley received the award for best outground for their work at Scarborough. The pair share the award with Vic Demain, the groundsman at Uxbridge.

Yorkshire chief executive Stewart Regan said: "I would like to add my congratulations to Micky and Christian who worked wonders at Scarborough this year.

“I would also like to praise our head groundsman at Headingley Carnegie, Andy Fogarty, for his hard work. Although he has not been honoured this season the work of his team has been outstanding."

Commendations were awarded in the four-day pitches category to Peter Marron at Old Trafford, Mick Hunt at Lord’s and Paul Marshall at Northampton. In the one-day pitches category, commendations were awarded to Marron, Nigel Gray at the Rose Bowl, Philip Frost at Taunton and David Measor at Riverside.

In the UCCE category, an old rivalry was contested with Richard Sula from The Parks also making it back-to-back wins with John Moden at Fenner’s named runner-up.

It is the eighth time out of nine seasons that the Brit Oval pitch has won the top award and the last six of these have come under Gordon’s tutelage since he took over in 2003.

On winning the award yet again, Gordon said: “The team and myself have put a lot of hard work into what is an extremely busy season and it’s great to be acknowledged in this way.

The Oval

The Brit Oval pitch was the forerunner for the award in both four-day and one-day cricket in 2008

“There are a lot of excellent cricket wickets produced all over the country by my counterparts too so to be ranked as number one for both categories is very special.”

Operations director Clive Stephens added: “Bill is the consummate professional and he and his team are thoroughly deserving of the award.

“As a spectator coming to the Brit Oval, more often than not, you’ll be treated to a great spectacle and part of the credit has to go to Bill for consistently producing excellent cricket wickets.”

Despite the positive news, Gordon and his team won’t have much time to celebrate, as they are currently overseeing the £750,000 drainage and irrigation project which started last month.

The groundsman of the year awards are based on umpire reports produced for every match, domestic and international, throughout the season, which include grading on the covering of grass, dryness, seam movement, pace, consistency of bounce and turn.

Alan Fordham, ECB head of operations (first-class cricket) said: “Once again the nation’s groundsmen and their teams have worked incredibly hard to produce some excellent pitches during another wet season.

“Great matches happen on great pitches and the tireless work that groundsmen do all year means that many thousands of spectators and players get maximum enjoyment from the game.

“We offer our congratulations to Bill Gordon at the Brit Oval who has consistently produced outstanding wickets in both forms of the game for many years and continues to set the standard for others to emulate.

“2008 also marks the end of an era at Lancashire, with Peter leaving the post of head groundsman at Christmas.

"So on behalf of the ECB, I would like to thank Peter for his contribution to English cricket over the past 30 years and wish him all the best for his future endeavours.”