Surrey can blame a lot of factors for their dreadful season, but not the pitch after Bill Gordon picked up the ECB Groundsman of the Year award for his work at The Oval.
Gordon scoops the prize in both the four-day and one-day categories, but his efforts weren't enough to save Surrey from relegation in Division One of the County Championship and finishing fourth from bottom in the lower tier of the National League.
Runner-up in both awards was Somerset's Philip Frost, who must know how Gordon feels. Somerset finished second-bottom of the Championship's Division Two and never looked like contenders for promotion in the National League.
Alan Fordham, the ECB's First Class Cricket Operations Manager, congratulated the two groundsman, adding: "Umpires marks have indicated a good overall standard in both four-day and one-day cricket in 2005."