Warwickshire County Cricket Club Head Groundsman Gary Barwell and his team of ground staff at Edgbaston Stadium have been awarded two of the biggest grounds industry accolades by the Institute of Groundsmanship (IOG).
The Edgbaston ground staff, which received global recognition for their work in the summer on England’s Specsavers Investec Test match against India and throughout the 2018 domestic season, were named Professional Cricket Grounds Team of the Year at the IOG Awards at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole.
"My team are always striving to produce the very best pitch, outfield and practice facilities for all cricket at Edgbaston, whether it’s for a Test match or a friendly match."
However, Barwell was also presented with the awards’ marquee accolade of Groundsman of the Year, which represents ground staff across a variety of sports and industries.
Commenting on the night, Gary Barwell said: “My team have worked incredible hard in the most challenging conditions over the last 12 months and are always striving to produce the very best pitch, outfield and practice facilities for all cricket at Edgbaston, whether it’s for a Test match watched by millions of people around the world or a friendly match.
“There are some exceptionally talented people working across grounds care in cricket and we are regularly in touch to discuss new ideas and best practice across our profession. For our team to be recognised with these awards by our industry peers is a great honour.”
The Institute of Groundsmanship (IOG) was originally founded in 1934 and aims to be the leading professional organisation for grounds management.
“Having this year suffered extreme weather conditions, with the winter’s ‘Beast from the East’ through to this summer’s unprecedented record heatwave, the climate has tested groundsmen to their limits," said IOG chief executive Geoff Webb.
“It has not been easy, yet we have seen how fantastic our profession is and this year’s awards had a fantastic array of nominees who have all achieved very high standards."
The recent glittering awards ceremony is the tenth to be staged by the IOG and the Edgbaston ground staff were also recognised at the 2013 event as winner of Professional Cricket Grounds Team of the Year.