The Gabba appoints new grounds guru as Kevin Mitchell Jr. pulls up stumps
Cricket fans will see a new face behind the wheel of the heavy roller at The Gabba this summer, with David Sandurski appointed the new head curator.
He will take over from legendary grounds manager Kevin Mitchell Jr. who will finish his 27 years tenure following the opening Test of the Ashes series, at The Gabba from November 23 to 27.
Minister for Sport Mick de Brenni said Mr Sandurski was perfect for the role.
“Kevin Mitchell is an icon and certainly leaves some big shoes to fill, but I’m confident David will build on his success and continue to produce, maintain and present the world renowned, multi-use field of play that The Gabba has become famous for,” Mr de Brenni said.
“David has been head cricket curator at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) for the past 5 years and his experience at such a popular, highly regarded, mixed-use venue renowned for top class events like the Boxing Day Test make him perfect for the role” he said.
“Before the MCG he spent 12 years at Brisbane’s Allan Border Field, so he’ll certainly feel quite at home on the pitch at The Gabba.
“Fans will have the chance to farewell Kevin at the Ashes and I’m sure they will be excited to welcome David on-board during a huge season of cricket, with a One Day International and several Big Bash and Sheffield Shield matches, as well as the 2018 AFL season.”
David Sandurski said that whilst it was a difficult decision to leave the MCG, he welcomed the opportuning to return to Queensland with his family.
“I have greatly enjoyed my time at the Melbourne Cricket Club and will be forever grateful for the opportunity the club gave me,” Mr Sandurski said.
“I cut my teeth at Allan Border Field, starting as an apprentice and doing everything up to ground manager, a position I held for about four and a half years, so this role will be a homecoming of sorts.
“While I expect challenges like getting reacquainted with the warmer climate and humidity, as well as the multi-use nature of the venue, I’m confident my experience will hold me in good stead and I look forward to getting in there and ensuring The Gabba ground remains something to be proud of,” he said.
“Thanks to Kevin and his father before him, The Gabba has become renowned for hard, bouncy pitches and of course there is a lot of pressure to get it right and make the best wicket I possibly can to ensure a good contest and I’m up for the challenge!”
The Gabba grounds manager Kevin Mitchell Jr said he was involved in the recruitment process from beginning to end and is extremely pleased to be handing over the keys to the heavy roller to David.
“The Gabba has been my home away from home for 33 years now and it was really important to me that I be involved in selecting someone we could trust to consistently meet the high standards required and do the grounds, the teams and the fans justice,” Mr Mitchell said.
“I’ve known David for 17 years and I know he is incredibly passionate about what he does and I’m very pleased to leave the grounds in his capable hands.”
The MCC and The Gabba are working collaboratively to ensure that neither venue’s Test matches are negatively impacted. It is expected that Mr Sandurski will join The Gabba team from Monday 20 November to assist with Test match preparations, and may be made available to the MCG to consult prior to the Boxing Day Test.