MCC name new head groundsman ahead of World Cup and Ashes year

After more heavy rain, the sun eventually came out at Lord's Getty Images

The MCC has appointed Karl McDermott as the new head groundsman for Lord's to replace the retiring Mick Hunt who has worked for the club for 49 years.

McDermott is currently the head groundsman at the Ageas Bowl, the home of Hampshire, which recently staged the fourth Test between England and India.

He has worked at Hampshire since 2009 when he was appointed deputy head groundsman before being promoted to the top job in 2016.

Prior to that he spent 17 years at Clontarf in Dublin where he became head groundsman before moving to Worcestershire in 2007.

McDermott joins the MCC ahead of a 2019 season which includes the major double-header of the World Cup and an Ashes series and he will also be charged with producing the pitch for Ireland's first Test at Lord's - a four-day match which will precede the Ashes.

"Karl emerged from a competitive field as someone who will be able to maintain the reputation of Lord's as the ultimate ground at which cricketers of all levels wish to play," MCC assistant secretary John Stephenson said. "His first season will be a challenging one, with five World Cup matches including the final, Ireland's inaugural Test match at Lord's as well as the prospect of England facing Australia in an Ashes Series but we have no doubt that he will prove himself up to the task.

"We're very much looking forward to Karl beginning his role and working alongside Mick Hunt for a short time before Mick begins his well-earned retirement."