• Adams succeeds Flint at Newlands

    The board of the Western Province Cricket Association has appointed Ihtishaam Adams as the new head groundsman of Newlands.

    The 31-year-old Adams had been assistant groundsman since 2014. His tenure will start on 1 August.

    He will succeed the decorated Evan Flint, who was named South African Groundsman of the Year in 2017 and 2018 and who has moved to the Wanderers, where he has been the curator since March 2019.

    Flint, in heaping praise on Adams, said: ‘This dynamic assistant groundsman’s commitment and unwavering dedication are his greatest traits, and he played a major role as part of my team in my awards as top groundsman in South Africa for the past two seasons.’

    CEO of WPCA Nabeal Dien reiterated Flint’s views: ‘We always like to, wherever possible, promote from within in order to provide opportunities for growth within the organisation and Ithtishaam has learned his trade over the years from the very best in Evan Flint and has the confidence and knowledge to forge his own successful career as the head groundsman of our wonderful ground. We wish him the very best.’

    Adams qualified post matric as a civil and electrical engineer, but sport is in his blood. He is steeped in cricket and that passion and a history of love for the soil attracted him to the work on the ground staff.

    ‘Since childhood, I always had a green thumb and I was my father’s right-hand man in the garden,’ he reminisces.

    When he started playing for Blue Bells Cricket Club, he also gradually took over the role as their groundsman while playing alongside his father, who also represented Western Province during the era of apartheid.

    His first stint at Newlands was for a month during the ICC Champions trophy in October 2012. In December 2012, Flint asked him if he was interested in coming to work for the ground staff on a contract basis.

    He worked for the 2012-13 season and so impressive was he that Flint asked him to become assistant groundsman at Newlands from the start of the 2014 season.

    ‘An assistant’s role is to provide a platform through cultural practices and operations in horticulture to manipulate conditions so that you can prepare a turf for sports games. I didn’t stand with my hands behind my back. I forced Evan to put pressure on me. I earned Evan’s trust. We would stand on the pitch for a test at Newlands and troubleshoot for two hours on how we are going to prepare it,’ he said.

    Photo: Gallo Images

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