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Gabba curator Kevin Mitchell Jr to retire

Kevin Mitchell snr and Kevin Mitchell jnr in the middle of the Gabba CricInfo

One of Australia's most familiar cricket curators, Kevin Mitchell Jr, will retire after this year's Ashes Test in November.

Mitchell's departure marks the second retirement of an Australian Test curator this winter, after Tom Parker announced in June that he was stepping down after 20 years of preparing the SCG's pitches.

Mitchell has been in charge of the Gabba playing surface for 27 years, having started as assistant curator under his father and predecessor, Kevin Mitchell Sr, in 1984.

"In the '80s we had the really good West Indies teams touring with the likes of Clive Lloyd, Viv Richards and the big four fast bowlers and that was an eye-opener for me, I thought what a great place to work," Mitchell told the Courier-Mail. "Then in 1995 we won our first Sheffield Shield final and that was really game-changing for Queensland cricket."

The Gabba pitch has typically been regarded as one of the best in Australia, offering seam movement and spin, but also opportunities for big totals. The ground has been nicknamed the "Gabbatoir" for Australia's dominance in Test cricket at the venue in recent decades: the last team to beat Australia in a Gabba Test was West Indies in 1988. Only two of the past 13 Tests at the ground have been drawn.

"Kevvie Mitchell has meant so much to the Gabba and his work on the playing surface has really been instrumental in a lot of our success as a venue," Gabba manager Blair Conaghan said.

"It's been a fantastic journey for him, from the days when it included the old greyhound track to its transformation into the more modern facility it is today and to consistently deliver over such a long period of time is an incredible achievement."