KwaZulu-Natal Cricket Union Media Release

 No: KZNCU2105

10 June 2020

Embargo : None

Written by: Nick Tatham


Ngobese continues to learn 45 years later

Durban – A story of apprentice to master, Wilson Ngobese’s love affair with Hollywoodbets Kingsmead Stadium spans four decades and the ground’s head curator continues to learn new things daily as he maintains one of South Africa’s most-loved cricketing venues.

Having arrived at the ground in 1975 as a general labourer, a 16 year-old Ngobese slowly built up an appreciation for cricket and managed to gain valuable knowledge from then curator Jay Pillay before he worked under Phil Russell. Moving his way up the ranks to head groundsman wasn’t the initial goal for Ngobese.

“I wasn’t supposed to be a groundsman when I started here,” Ngobese said.

“When I was working with Jay (Pillay) I saw how they worked, how they planted the grass, how they prepared the wicket but when I worked with Phil Russell that was when my eyes opened to the fact that I could become a groundsman.

“I still didn’t think I would become the groundsman but the KZN Cricket Union asked me to do it and from there I took on the job after Phil retired.”

With so many memories since he started at the ground, Ngobese’s love for the game developed from his arrival and not only has he seen some of crickets most memorable moments but he has seen Kingsmead evolve.

“When I started here there was only one stand, the West Stand. It was not a stadium at all and so I have seen the whole stadium grown from nothing.

“From a cricketing side, seeing guys like Barry Richards and Mike Proctor playing at Kingsmead were the best memories.”

Having witnessed moments like Gary Kirsten’s 274 against England, Yuvraj Singh’s six sixes off an over and former Hollywoodbets Dolphins’ Morné van Wyk’s T20 hundred against the West Indies, Ngobese’s satisfaction comes from the spectators.

“For me preparing a pitch that is going to provide entertainment for the people that come into the stadium is the best part.

“If I can give the players and the spectators a good pitch that produces a good game of cricket then I am happy,” he added.

Ngobese took over the role as head curator in 1999 and is one of the most experienced groundsmen in the country, however the 61 year-old will never stop learning and trying to get better at his job.

“I will carry on learning until the day I die,” he explained. “Things change all the time and that means that I have to keep on learning.

“I meet new people all the time and there is always something that I can learn so I try to keep on learning every day,” Ngobese mentioned.

For more information visit www.dolphinscricket.co.za

ENDS

Photo Caption Photographer Click to download the hi-res pic
The KwaZulu-Natal Cricket Union logo - JPEG  

The KwaZulu-Natal Inland Cricket Union logo - JPEG  

Head curator at Hollywoodbets Kingsmead Stadium Wilson Ngobese continues to make sure that he learns and grows in his role. A role that he has held for the past 21 years. Anesh Debiky

Conditions of usage of photographs: All photographs supplied and hyperlinked herewith may be used free of charge, with full credit to the photographer and agency as provided. The photographs may not be modified or retouched in any way, but may be cropped to suit the layout requirements of the publications. The photographs provided may be used exclusively for editorial purposes, and may be reprinted in any newspaper, magazine, television programme or on any website. These photographs may not be used for any commercial or promotional purpose, including but not limited to posters, advertisements, commercials, promotional email correspondence, point-of-sale material or any retail promotion. Should such usage be desired, please contact us at the details below.
Is this of no value to you?
This media release is intended for use by media professionals covering this specific activity or sport. Should this release not be relevant you, please advise us immediately and we will be glad to remove your name from this particular database. It would be useful to us if you could advise us which subjects you would like to continue receiving releases on.
For any further information, or if you cannot access the images, please contact:
Gameplan Media
(031) 764 3017