Cricket has dominated the headlines this summer with England winning the World Cup at Lords and the exciting Ashes Series following between England and Australia where Australia have now been confirmed as the winners. As a leader in professional cylinder mowers utilised at cricket grounds all over the country, Allett Mowers hosted its annual Cricket Groundsman’s Day on Friday 30th August 2019, in conjunction with our partners at Edgbaston. Over 50 cricket groundsmen and dealers from across the United Kingdom were invited to join us for the exciting, educational day at Edgbaston. Guests included high-profile groundsmen from the National Performance Centre at Loughborough as well as private schools, colleges and cricket clubs. The attendees were joined by Gary Barwell, Head Groundsman at Edgbaston and, former England Assistant Coach and T20 World Cup Winning Coach, Paul Farbrace. Paul is now Sporting Director at Warwickshire. One of the many highlights of the day was a presentation held by Gary to the attendees that offered a wonderful glimpse into how he prepared the World Cup and Ashes pitches. Gary started his career in 1995 working at Grace Road, Leicester, then moved to Trent Bridge in 2009 working under Steve Birks as assistant head groundsman before finally moving to take up the role of head groundsman at Edgbaston CCC in 2011. His presentation covered any problems he encountered along the way including dealing with the media, players and fans views on social media on the way the wickets were playing- a truly captivating presentation delivered with such humility by Gary! Guests were invited into Gary’s shed to take a look at the equipment he uses to keep the Edgbaston wickets, square and outfield in tip-top shape including his range of Allett Mowers. They were then led out to the middle to examine the wickets used for the World Cup and Ashes matches, and Gary explained to the guests the technical aspects involved including the amount of rolling, watering and cutting required before a matchday. Guests were encouraged to ask questions throughout the day on subjects such as dealing with low budgets etc Austin Jarrett (MD of Allett Mowers) led a presentation on the history of Allett Mowers where he talked all about the origins of the first Regal machine leading on to the different Allett machines available for the cricket market and the plans going forward in the future regarding battery power and innovation. Many of the guests in the audience were Allett users themselves and included Graham Kitley from Hazlegrove Prep school who has just become one of our first Allett Pioneers investing in the Allett C34Evolution. Next to take to the stage was Paul Farbrace, who has over 30 years of experience and knowledge from playing and coaching. Paul shared his insights from a player/coach point of view and explained what a good pitch meant to his players and how it can affect a result. Paul won the T20 World Cup Final as Head Coach of Sri Lanka in 2014 and played for Kent and Middlesex himself as a player. Paul was the assistant coach of England under Peter Moores and also Trevor Bayliss until he moved on from his position in 2017 to join Warwickshire as Sporting Director. Paul explained how every coach has a shelf-life and he felt it was his time to move on for a new challenge.
After the presentations, the guests tucked into a curry in the ‘room with a view’ before watching the T20 game featuring Birmingham Bears and Yorkshire Vikings which saw the Vikings win by 19 runs.