The awards, now in their fifth year, recognise the hard work and high standards achieved by cricket groundsmen in the recreational game. Prizes are awarded in four categories – ICC Europe, Educational Establishment, Private Club and Local Authority.
Treble the number of nominations was received for this year’s awards compared to last year through Cricket World® magazine and Pitchcare.
The ICC Europe award, which is open to all groundsmen in Europe's non-Test playing nations went to Philip McCormick of Civil Service North CC in Ireland .
The awards were presented by ECB's Head Pitch Advisor Chris Wood and the Manager of the ICC European Development Program Richard Holdsworth, in the presence of sponsors and invited guests.
Chris Wood, Richard Holdsworth, Alastair Symondson Head of Media at Cricket World® and the Pitchcare judges, all expressed their admiration for the winning groundsmen and thanked the sponsors whose continuing support makes the awards possible.
Gerry Kelly, Chief Executive NICSSA Sport and Leisure paid tribute to Philip saying, “This award is a fitting tribute to the commitment, skill and dedication of our Head Groundsman Philip Mc Cormick, and I am delighted that the important contribution that he makes to Cricket in Ireland has been acknowledged in this way.”
Joe Doherty, Chairman of the Cricket Committee added his congratulations saying, “Philip McCormick is an outstanding groundsman who has prepared and presented top class pitches and outfields at Stormont for many years. His qualities include good team leadership, endless patience, steely determination, good humour and an even temper - all prerequisites for a cricket groundsman, especially in the northern half of Ireland!"
"It has always been a pleasure for the Irish cricket authorities to work with Philip in terms of liaison, consultation and dependability. In my opinion, the award of European Groundsman of the Year is well deserved.”