Tauranga Cricket Association has lost the contract to prepare cricket pitches in the Western Bay after 22 years continuous service.

Tauranga City Council has awarded a new three-year deal after a tender process to Recreational Services, who have the contract to maintain sports parks for council.

Tauranga City Council's parks and recreation manager, Mark Smith, says it was an open, competitive tender.

"Tauranga City Council's commitment is to ensure the provision of high quality cricket facilities," Smith said.


"The winning tender demonstrated the greatest value for money even though it was not the cheapest.

"The tender was evaluated on management skills, capacity and capability, methodology and price. Price was 30 per cent of the weighting.

"The new contract is for maintenance of the grass cricket wickets and artificial cricket wickets across the city.

"We have a good relationship with Tauranga Cricket Association and expect that to continue."

Tauranga Cricket Association treasurer Paul Wills says they did not anticipate losing the contract.

"It came as quite some surprise that we were not the successful tenderer and our existing contract would expire on June 30," Wills said.

"Considering we had a successful and harmonious contract maintaining the grass wickets for 22 years with little or no complaints from cricketers, the public or TCC itself, a head groundsman Cameron Burns who had 22 years' experience in preparing and maintaining these wicket blocks and had improved the standards of these wickets since 1994, and lastly were going to be able to do this at a cost that was $17,500 less for the ratepayers than the successful tenderer, you can see why we were absolutely dumbfounded with TCC's final decision.

"Cameron and Tauranga Cricket Association have not only maintained these grass wickets but also funded new blocks and extensions to the blocks, along with their associated irrigation systems over the 22-year period as well.

"It will be a shame that local cricketers will not have their cricket wickets prepared by someone as experienced and diligent as Cameron, with all the local knowledge he has with these wickets."

For former head groundsman Burns, 45, his last day in the job last Thursday was the end of an era.

"I was very disappointed. It was just an empty gut feeling," he said.

"If it was feasible I would do this voluntarily. It has always been more than just a job. I played cricket as well and certainly have a real passion for cricket."

For many years Burns also prepared pitches for 50-over Northern Districts matches held every summer at Blake Park before Bay Oval took over hosting the games.

"I have never had a complaint in all the years and it is nice when you get compliments from first class and international players," he said.