Carl Trask sits up straight in bed sometimes when he hears raindrops on the roof in the middle of the night.
Just last week, the 46-year-old Levin groundsman woke at 2am, put on his work boots on, and headed out to Donnelly Park to check on the pitch and put covers on ahead of the first-class match between the Central Hinds and the Otago Sparks.
"I sleep with one eye open these days," he said.
Trask, who could lay claim to being one of the best allround cricketers Horowhenua-Kāpiti has produced, played senior club and representative cricket since he made his debut as a teenager in 1990, with countless wickets and runs to his name.
He is now calling on all that playing experience, combined with qualifications in turf management, to prepare first-class playing surfaces.
Although the first-class women's match ended in a wash-out on Sunday, Trask earned praise for the way the wicket played on the Saturday, a feather in his cap considering the wild weather he battled with leading up to the match.
Trask said he couldn't help but wake in the night thinking about the surface.
"It was touch and go at the start of the week," he said.
"It came up really well considering the weather during the week. It was touch and go at the beginning of the week with all that rain but then those two days of wind really helped and we were able to produce a pitch to the standard that it is," he said.
Trask said he was pleased to see some good cricket played on the wicket on Saturday.
"I'm surprised how it has come up. It's rock hard and there is a good bounce to it," he said.
"It's not too green, but there is a slight green tinge to it, so there is something there for the batters and the bowlers because the ball is coming on and nothing will keep low."
"It was good to hear the comments from the umpires and the players because it's important to prepare and good pitch with the prospect of hosting future games here."
"We'd been putting the covers on and off...you are constantly monitoring the weather and planning your week," he said.
Trask said he tried to delay putting covers on for as long as possible to reduce "sweating".
"You could easily throw the covers on when it is home time and forget about it, but any extra moisture can increase the risk of disease."
Having been a top player equally at home as a batsmen and a bowler, he was able to have a unique understanding in what a pitch needed to produce a good game of cricket.
"You want an even keel. You like to have a bit in there for everyone. You are getting critiqued all the time, but I take pride in my work and you just want to produce the best pitch you can depending on the conditions you are given."
Trask attended a seminar at Eden Park a few weeks ago with a select group of grounds men from around New Zealand.
"It was invaluable...rubbing shoulders with the grounds men at Eden Park," he said.
Next year he aimed to attain a Level Four standing in turf management. He also continues to play senior club cricket for Weraroa.