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Page last updated at 08:39 GMT, Thursday, 25 September 2008 09:39 UK

Groundsman handed Ashes mission

Andy Atkinson
Atkinson is charged with getting things right for the Ashes

International Cricket Council chief pitch consultant Andy Atkinson has been brought in as acting head groundsman at Glamorgan ahead of the 2009 Ashes Test.

Long-serving Glamorgan head groundsman Len Smith took early retirement at the Swalec Stadium earlier this month.

Atkinson will focus on regenerating the square and preparing the wicket for the first Test against Australia on 8 July.

"I am extremely confident that our preparation will be second to none," said Glamorgan chairman Paul Russell.

"Andy's appointment brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the club."

Sophia Gardens
Sophia Gardens will host Welsh cricket's biggest day on 8 July
Essex-born Atkinson has been head groundsman at Newlands Test Stadium in South Africa and the Wanderers Test Stadium in Johannesburg.

He has worked at major grounds in the UK including Lord's, Edgbaston and the Oval.

In addition to his primary focus, Atkinson will also supervise the installation of the new outfield drainage system and a completely new and level outfield surface.

He will also be responsible for re-establishing the external practice nets, auditing equipment, and assisting in the appointment of a new permanent head groundsman.

The club aim to fill that position by February next year, Atkinson remaining as a consultant to the club until the completion of the Ashes Test.

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see also
Head groundsman leaves Glamorgan
17 Sep 08 |  Glamorgan
An English grounding
18 Mar 04 |  England
Cricket fans' grounds for concern
11 Jul 08 |  South east
England list full Ashes schedule
05 May 08 |  England
Cardiff to host Ashes Test match
20 Apr 06 |  Cricket
BBC Sport Wales coverage
23 Mar 08 |  Wales


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