A world-class grounds curator who transformed the PPC Newlands nets, outfield and pitches to be the best in the country, is how the players and management of the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras paid tribute to the decorated Evan Flint, who announced after Christmas that he is leaving PPC Newlands to become the grounds curator of the Bidvest Wanderers Stadium from 1st February 2018.

“I have been at PPC Newlands involved as a player since 1991 and I have seen the facility deteriorate at a stage, especially as the outfield was a bit down. But when Evan came here in 2008, he transformed it into a world-class arena again. He made a massive contribution to Newlands’ (resurrection),” said Faiek Davids, assistant coach of the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras.

“We all love Evan here. He did a great job. I trust he will keep doing the same things that made him the most sought-after groundsman in the country, when he moves to the Wanderers. There is one reason and one reason only why the Wanderers wanted him, because he is the best in the country,” said Ashwell Prince, coach of the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras.

“He has been outstanding. You don’t receive the accolade as the Pitchvision groundsman of the year unless you are the best in the country, The local players know they probably train in the best nets in the country. We have got the best training facilities in South Africa and we owe it to Evan and his team,” added Prince.

“I give Evan ten out of ten. That is why the test matches the past few years have been so outstanding,” said Dane Piedt, captain of the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras.

Flint said, “I applied for the position and decided to leave because it was time to move on and embrace a new challenge. Also, my greater family lies in the north of the country so it makes sense practically at this stage of my career.”

Flint was the Pitchvision South African groundsman of the year in 2016/2017 and 2017/2018.

The Wanderers will gain the services of a vastly experienced curator who worked ten years intermittently at Kingsmead under the guardianship of Phil Russell and ten and a half years at PPC Newlands.

When he started in 2008, PPC Newlands was not in the best shape and it took him three to four years to get the formula right and learn the Cape weather. He stumbled upon the right formula for a good pitch, he said.

He relayed the outfield, put in a new drainage system and an irrigation system, relayed six pitches on the square and added two more pitches. Over the period of ten and a half years, he also added pace and bounce to the famous wicket.

“It has been incredible. I have spent ten amazing years at one of the best if not the most picturesque grounds in the world,” said Flint about the enjoyment factor of the past decade.

My relationship with my two bosses at WPCA, Prof André Odendaal and Nabeal Dien, were good,” he said.

“My relationship with Nabeal Dien was great. He allowed me to get on with the job and do what we need to do and in that way we achieved a lot”

“Evan had a major impact on PPC Newlands. Its pristine condition owe much to his and his staff’s unwavering commitment and quest for perfection of our iconic ground. He will be sorely missed. My relationship with Evan was easy and I completely respected his skill and it will be an enormous challenge to continue to keep this iconic ground in pristine condition. Evan has been an integral part of our management team at the Western Province Cricket Association and I can only wish him well,” said Nabeal Dien, chief executive officer of the Western Province Cricket Association.