RICHARD Robinson may be the Bradford Premier League’s all-time top-scorer, but that is not why he has made headlines over the last week or so.

Having packed away his bat and pads, the Keighley native is now head of grounds at Yorkshire, with he and his team earning widespread praise from pundits and players alike for the pitch they prepared for the thrilling third Ashes Test of the summer, which saw England beat by Australia by three wickets last Sunday in a contest where bat and ball were evenly matched throughout.

The two lock horns again from next Wednesday across the Pennines at Old Trafford, but those in charge of the pitch there will have to go some to match the efforts of Robinson and his team.

Long Lee man Robinson told the T&A: “It was really strange.

“People praising the pitch so much was unusual as you normally only get hassle when it’s bad.

“I’ve always strived for quick and bouncy pitches but sometimes you get that wrong and sometimes teams don’t want that.

“Fortunately England did, and they gave myself and the team a bit of free licence with it.

“I had the best seat in the house and obviously had all the players and coaches asking me about the pitch before the game.”

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Harry Brook played a match-winning innings for England last weekend.Harry Brook played a match-winning innings for England last weekend. (Image: PA.)

Not only that, but Robinson was keen to make use of the Yorkshire groundsman family too to mark the special occasion.

He said: “I had the groundsmen down from the outgrounds to help out for a day because I wanted it to be an experience for all of them.

“That was John Dodds from Scarborough, Ben Harris from York, Nasa Hussain from Bradford and Adam Seymour from Weetwood, as well as David Hodgson from Kirkstall CC, who has been a massive inspiration to me.

“There was also Keith Boyce too, who was Yorkshire’ head groundsman for 30 years.”

It was not all plain sailing for the Test though, as Robinson admitted: “It is the best place to be, unless it rains all day like it did on the Saturday and you’re working for 19 hours.

“With the thunderstorm on Saturday night, the rain was bouncing up as high as my waist off the covers, so that was pretty full on.”

He laughed: “In general, Headingley is a lot easier to manage than other groundsman jobs I’ve had in the past (like in the Bradford League) as I have such a big team.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Ben Coad bowling on Richard Robinson's Headingley pitch during a County Championship game against Glamorgan earlier this season.Ben Coad bowling on Richard Robinson's Headingley pitch during a County Championship game against Glamorgan earlier this season. (Image: Ray Spencer.)

“I get to mainly concentrate on the pitch and point my finger at everyone else and tell them what to do.

“For Test matches you have so much more time to prepare the ground as well, where you can really work on getting the right amount of water in the pitch.

“I still head up the operation and oversee the operations at Weetwood and Park Avenue, and the guys there are doing a great job.

“It’s a dream come true to be in charge at Headingley though, and being the cricket badger I am, I’m just as excited for the Northern Diamonds match here this weekend as I was for the Test.”