Is there a tougher job in cricket than being a groundsman – especially in often rainy England?

Experts at cricket’s version of the Hokey Cokey, covers on, off, on, off, shake them all about.

Andy Fogarty and his team, though, are exactly that. Experts. And they go into 2020 with more recognition of their efforts from the ECB.

Late last year, Fogarty won the ECB’s head groundsman of the year for the fourth time, while he was given a commendation for the quality of his one-day pitches at Emerald Headingley.

‘Fog’, however, quickly pointed out: “It’s a team effort, testament to the work everyone puts in.”

Scarborough groundsman John Dodds also scooped the top award in the outground category, while York’s Jonathan Corcoran was commended for the quality of his surface in June when the city’s first county game since 1890 was played between Yorkshire and Warwickshire.

“It just shows the amount of work and dedication we put in to preparing good pitches and practice surfaces,” said Fogarty, who expects 2020 to be another busy summer.

“Last year was a bit of a test run for what will happen this summer with the Hundred and all of our domestic stuff. Last year put us in good stead.

“It was an eye opener. It was quite tough producing all the international pitches as well as keeping an eye on what’s going on elsewhere at places like York and Scarborough. Thankfully we got through it.”

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