County news September 18, 2008

Another high-profile departure at Glamorgan

Cricinfo staff

The uncertainty at Glamorgan following the departure of Mike Fatkin as chief executive last week continues with the news that Len Smith, the Sophia Gardens groundsman, has left.

The news is a surprise given that the ground is about to undergo major drainage work costing £600,000 ahead of next year's Ashes Test. Smith, who had been in the job since 1980, was named Groundsman of the Year in 2006.

Fatkin's departure is shrouded in mystery with all questions to the county being stonewalled. Smith's exit is equally strange. The county said that he advised them he wished to take early retirement on Monday and left on Tuesday, in what was described in a press release as an "amicable" agreement.

"Len has had a long and loyal association with Glamorgan cricket," read the release. "His skills are universally recognised and acknowledged. He has won a number of awards including, last year, the prestigious Groundsman of the Year Award. The clear expertise he displayed in our presentation to the Inspection Group appointed by the ECB was one of the major factors which led to the award of an Ashes Test.

"At the end of the season, and in conjunction with the ECB, we shall be conducting the search for a new head groundsman. In the meantime our deputy head groundsman will assume the role of acting head groundsman."

There is speculation that the two departures are in some way connected with the ODI at Cardiff earlier this month which was abandoned after three overs because of heavy rain. Last week's Championship game against Worcestershire was completely washed out.