Gabba curator to step down after Ashes Test

Kevin Mitchell directs his staff during a rain delay in the game between Australia and New Zealand
Kevin Mitchell directs his staff during a rain delay in the game between Australia and New Zealand

Long-serving Gabba curator Kevin Mitchell has announced that he will step down from his role following the end of the first Ashes Test between Australia and England later this year.

Mitchell, who has been the in charge of the Brisbane venue has managed to produce quality pitches over the years that aided both pace and spin bowlers.

“I’d taken a step back from the physical side of work and engaged in more of a guidance role with the team to see out my contract while helping to recruit my successor,” Mitchell told Brisbane's Courier Mail.

“I want to thank the grounds team for their continual efforts to meet the high standards required and maintaining the culture of having great pride in producing quality playing surfaces.”

Since 1987, Australia have played 30 games at the venue in which they registered wins in 22 games and have lost a solitary game that came against West Indies in 1988.

Queensland sports minister Mick de Brenni credited Mitchell for his work in helping Australia building a fortress in Brisbane.

"Kevin truly is an icon, and to have kept producing an absolute world-class deck on a ground that's used all year round has taken a particular talent. So, absolutely, very, very big shoes to fill," he said.

Mitchell was inspired by his father Kevin Mitchell Sr, who worked in a similar role between 1975 and 1989 before he was succeeded by his son.

Mitchell admitted that it was the West Indies' quick bowlers of the past, who served as an inspiration for him to generate a pitch that will test the batsmen.

"The great West Indies side were out in those days with the four big quicks and Clive Lloyd, Viv Richards and the like... and I just thought, 'what a great place to work,'" Mitchell said in comments published by state broadcaster ABC.

"The Gabba is a famous, iconic, historic stadium, and you feel that responsibility to create something that Queenslanders are proud of. You have to love the job -- it's a big part of your life."

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