Cornwood Cricket Club have been crowned Volunteer Grounds Management Team of 2023 by the ECB at the National Cricket Collective Awards.

The team at Cornwood CC, comprised of Bradley Nicholls, Dave Matthews, Jon Nicholls, Richard Friend, Dave Bailey, Charlie Munford and Kevin Mills, have taken the quality of the ground to new levels, which has led to Devon County Cricket Club and County Age Group matches being played at Oak Park.

"It's surreal really, because it's just little Cornwood down here
in Devon, but I'm immensely proud of everyone that's involved."

"It's kind of surreal really," says Head Groundskeeper, Bradley. "It's just little Cornwood down here in Devon, but I'm immensely proud of everyone that's involved. It's a fantastic team effort.

"We've had more people join us in the last few years and it's made a real difference to the quality of pitches we can produce It's been a real team effort."

Despite sitting on the edge of Dartmoor, and facing very adverse weather at key points in the preparation stages of the week, the team always try to provide the best facilities they can to allow for the growth in the number of games played.

"We've been working very hard and the weather has been very difficult for us this last season," says Groundskeeper Richard Friend. "To come off with a reward like this is marvellous."

The national accolade comes just a month after being voted the Best Club Ground in the South West in Somerset CCC's Club Ground World Cup. On winning both accolades, Bradley says:

"We're all very biased, but I think most people would agree it's a pretty beautiful setting. It's not always the easiest place to play here when you've got the conditions, it's overcast and it's swinging around a bit, but I think everyone that comes here can always after that it's a pretty special place."

The team at Cornwood CC are always open to welcoming new additions, including members of the local community who aren't affiliated with the club to assist where they can and provide their skills.

The Cornwood CC Grounds Team at the Devon Cricket Collective Awards at Somerset CCC.

"The best part about this club here is that it is one big family, whether it's the grounds team, the hospitality team or even the playing teams, just being involved is fantastic and it's great to be part of a real community that all share the same pleasure in playing cricket."

Richard echoes Bradley's praises of the club's welcoming nature, describing Cornwood CC as fantastic for his mental health: "I get on the roller and spend hours on the roller. It's fantastic!"

"It's an unbelievable privilege to be in this position," says Bradley, reflecting on his team's recent accolades. "It's something that we would never have expected and we're very grateful to receive this award."