Moving on after 20 years

It has been announced that Somerset County Cricket Club’s head groundsman, Simon Lee will be joining Hampshire County Cricket Club ahead of next season.

Simon will be replacing Nigel Gray at Southampton, who came out of retirement for this season following the departure of Karl McDermott to Lord's.

Simon explained his reasons for leaving to Somerset's website, saying, "This has been a massive decision for me to make. I’ve given it a lot of thought and I want to challenge myself at a larger venue that regularly hosts international cricket.

“I’ve been at Somerset for nearly 20 years and this is one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make. I have so many incredible memories of Somerset. I’ve seen two World Cups and seen the likes of Graeme Smith and Chris Gayle make big scores. There have been some incredible wins in the Championship and so many more great memories that I couldn’t even begin to name them all. I feel like I’m leaving the Club in a good place and that we’ve improved the field massively in the last 10 years.

“I probably take the most satisfaction from the fact that we’ve been able to change the characteristics of the pitches in four-day cricket and are able to give people exciting cricket to watch. That’s taken a lot of hard work over a 10-year period and there’s been a lot of pressure, but when Members come up to you and tell you that they’re really enjoying the cricket that they’re watching here, it makes it all worthwhile.

“The fact that we get so many people coming to the Ground to watch cricket shows that we must be doing something right and I’m very proud to be leaving that legacy.”

During his time at Somerset Simon has built up his reputation as one of the finest groundsmen in the country with his work has being recognised on numerous occasions by his fellow groundsmen and the ECB. Most recently Simon and his team shared the Best One-Day Pitch Award at the prestigious 2018 Business of Cricket Awards.

Simon will remain at Taunton to carry out the necessary autumn renovations before taking up his new position at the Ageas Bowl in January.

Somerset say the recruitment process for a new head groundsman is already underway.

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