Fogarty award continues Yorkshire's domination
Yorkshire's domination of the County Championship continued at the Groundsman of the Year Awards in Derby, as Andy Fogarty's pitches at Headingley earned him the main prize for four-day cricket.
Pitches are under more scrutiny than ever after ECB frustration over some groundsmen producing damp green surfaces to prop up their seam attacks leading to changes to the toss in 2016 to try to combat the practice.
Fogarty, a Lancastrian who had worked under Peter Marron at Old Trafford before crossing the Pennines in 1996, won the same award in 2011.
He was also commended in the category for one-day pitches, which was won by Somerset's Simon Lee - who was runner-up in the four-day category.
Yorkshire's instructions to Fogarty are simple. Prepare a good pitch - but just give me pace and carry, is the gist of the information from the director of cricket Jason Gillespie.
There was yet more recognition for Yorkshire in the outgrounds category as Scarborough's John Dodds was runner-up to Bill Clutterbuck of Guildford, the venue for Surrey's Championship match against Glamorgan. Stuart Kerrison (Colchester) and David Summersell (Uxbridge) were also commended.
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.
Before the awards dinner a minute's silence was held in memory of Harry Brind and Peter Marron, former winners with Surrey and Lancashire respectively who passed away in 2015.
Four-day: Winner: Andy Fogarty (Headingley). Runner-up: Simon Lee (Taunton). Commended: Neil Godrich (Derby); Simon Williamson (Canterbury).
One-day: Winner: Simon Lee (Taunton). Runner-up: Nigel Gray (Ageas Bowl). Commended: Steve Birks (Trent Bridge), Andy Mackay (Hove), Andy Fogarty (Headingley).
Outgrounds: Winner: Bill Clutterbuck (Guildford). Runner-up: John Dodds (Scarborough). Commended: Stuart Kerrison (Colchester), David Summersell (Uxbridge).
MCC Universities. Winner: Paul Derrick (Durham Racecourse). Runner-up: John Moden (Fenner's).