It took a few words from Australian cricket legend Shane Warne to help settle the nerves of Adam Lewis, ahead of his first Ashes Test overseeing the Sydney Cricket Ground pitch.
Lewis began his dream job in November taking over as the head curator of the Sydney Cricket Ground.
He had previously spent the best part of 20 years mastering his trade at Hurstville Oval, starting out as a groundsman apprentice before working his way up as Hurstville’s head curator.
Lewis told the Leader his first Ashes Test could not have gone better last weekend.
“I loved it. It was everything and more of what I could have expected,” he said.
“I was a little nervous heading into it, but on the first day of the test Shane Warne came out and stood behind the wicket and said ‘wow, that is a great cricket wicket’. And I thought ‘you beauty’.”
The groundsman extraordinaire, who lives in Gymea Bay, is only the ninth curator of the Sydney Cricket Ground during its 160-year history.
He said he was rapt with the state of the pitch during the fifth and final Ashes Test, which produced a result on the final day.
“The way the game played out, I don’t think you could have scripted it any better. To say that I was happy with everything is an understatement.”
He said he had dealt with many of the players before during first-class games and even Australian training sessions at Hurstville Oval, but it was still exciting to have legends of the game come up to him to inquire about the pitch.
He added one moment in particular stood out for him.
“After it all finished I was invited into the changing rooms with the Australian players and then the England team came in.
“It was one of those moments you wish you were filming with your phone because it was just incredible and it is something I will take with me and never forget.”
Lewis said he still had to pinch himself when heading along to work at the SCG.
“Definitely. It really is my dream job. I was doing my best at Hurstville Oval and trying to do the best that I could to get noticed.”
Lewis works with a team of about a dozen staff who care for the grounds at the Sydney Cricket Ground and Allianz Stadium.