Surrey’s Ground Staff, led by Lee Fortis, secured the top two trophies at the 2023 Grounds Manager of the Year Awards.
The team received perfect marks for the four-day pitches, the first time in the 51-year history of the awards, as well as picking up the One-Day award.
This is the third time that Fortis has received the Bernard Flack Memorial trophy – which acknowledges excellence for four-day pitches – having won it outright in 2018 and shared the trophy last year. The award is decided by collating the pitch ratings from Match Referees for multi-day cricket over the course of the season.
Fortis, who has been Head of Ground Staff since 2012, was away getting some well-deserved rest and recuperation, so Deputy Head Ground Managers, Christy Sullivan and Martin Biggin picked up the awards on behalf of the team.
Lee Fortis said “All the team put in an incredible amount of work throughout the year that contributes to the pitches that you see on match days. Without their dedication and hard-work, much of it unseen, we wouldn’t be able to prepare the quality of wickets that we do. Thank you to all the team at The Kia Oval and congratulations to all the other grounds teams around the county for their work.”
ECB Pitch and Grounds Advisor, Andy Mackay, said: “The standard of pitches in white and red-ball cricket continues to be very high overall and the competition for the top spots is exceedingly tough. The award winners deserve this recognition for the consistently outstanding pitches they have produced during the summer.
“The dedication, sacrifice and commitment of all of the grounds managers is beyond reproach and it is great that we can get everyone together to recognise the contribution they make to the game and to celebrate their successes.
“Yet again, every venue’s grounds teams have given their all to deliver pitches and facilities that allow the players to put on a thrilling spectacle for all of the fans who attended cricket this summer.”