Simon Lee to join Hampshire

Somerset County Cricket Club’s Head Groundsman, Simon Lee will be joining Hampshire County Cricket Club ahead of next season.

Simon had his first taste of working for Somerset back in 1999 when he carried out a work placement at the Cooper Associates County Ground as part of his National Diploma in Horticulture.

After finishing college in 2001 he was offered a job by the Club and he has remained at Taunton ever since, working his way up to the position of Head Groundsman.

During his time at Somerset he has built up a reputation as one of the finest Groundsmen in the country and his outstanding work has been 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.

After agreeing to join Hampshire, Simon said: “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.”

SCCC Director of Cricket, Andy Hurry said: “Simon Lee has played an integral role in the success of the Club during his time here. His attention to detail, hard work, professionalism and desire to provide the best possible surface are absolutely second to none.

“I can’t speak highly enough of Simon and I’m in no doubt that every Coach or Director of Cricket who has worked with him will speak about him in similarly glowing terms.

“Understandably, Simon’s ambition is to work at an International ground and, after everything he has done for Somerset, I know that I speak for everyone involved with the Club when I wish him every success in the next stage of his career at Hampshire.”

The recruitment process for a new Head Groundsman is already underway.

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