Steve Rouse has bowed out as Warwickshire’s head groundsman with a prestigious national award.
The former Warwickshire seamer stepped down recently after 17 years in charge at Edgbaston to be replaced by Gary Barwell, who was previously assistant to Steve Birks at Trent Bridge.
Rouse’s efforts since he replaced Andy Atkinson at Edgbaston in 1994 were rewarded with the ECB’s Achievements in Cricket Groundsmanship Award 2011, sponsored by Ransomes Jacobsen.
Rouse was not present for the award presentation which was made in the committee lounge at Edgbaston as he is already enjoying his retirement by travelling the world.
His friend and former team-mate John Jameson collected the award and Chris Wood, the ECB pitches consultant who presented the prize, read out a letter of appreciation in which Rouse offered some typically no-nonsense advice to his fellow groundsmen.
“You will be put under more and more pressure from players, coaches, chief executives and the press,” Rouse said.
“I will give you a bit of advice, you can take it or leave it, but look them straight in the eye, stand your ground and tell them straight ‘I’ll do it my way’; I did and it got me through. Thanks for this award and good luck.”
Rouse initially joined Warwickshire as a groundsman but was quickly taken onto the playing staff. He went on to play 127 matches for the county before he retired and reverted to groundsmanship, initially taking charge of a number of club grounds in the Midlands before returning to Edgbaston.