Merchant named top groundsman

Lancashire's Matthew Merchant has been named the Groundsman of the Year award in four-day cricket.

Merchant's Old Trafford pitches were judged the best in the County Championship, ahead of Andy Fogarty's Headingley strips.

In the one-day category, the winner is Andy Ward from Leicestershire's Grace Road with the runner-up prize awarded to Durham's David Measor.

Commendations went to Stuart Kerrison (Chelmsford), Steve Birks (Trent Bridge) and Mick Hunt (Lord's) in the four-day pitch category, while Fogarty (Headingley) and Simon Lee (Taunton) were commended in the one-day category.

John Moden from Fenners, Cambridge is the winner for pitches at MCC Universities with Will Relf at Loughborough the runner-up. John Dodds at Scarborough was awarded the Outgrounds prize.

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.