McCurdie disappointed at Mannofield switch
Kenny McCurdie, the award-winning groundsman of Aberdeenshire CC, has spoken of his “huge disappointment” at the news that Cricket Scotland have switched this summer’s Intercontinental Cup and World Cricket League fixtures away from Mannofield to the Bothwell Castle Policies ground in Uddingston. McCurdie has worked tirelessly throughout the winter to repair the Granite City surface, which suffered serious damage from vandalism last year, but, despite his best efforts, he has been forced to admit defeat in his quest to help stage any representative fixtures at Mannofield this summer.
“The pitch looks okay from the boundary edge, but we have just run out of time, and although the condition of the ground has improved, it isn’t going to stand up to the scrutiny it would get from staging three first-class fixtures [one four-day game and two ODIs] in the space of a week,” said McCurdie, who is understandably sickened at how his beloved square was the victim of such malicious treatment. “We will now have to focus on limping through the rest of the domestic season, but there is still some residual chemical matter on the pitch, and that needs to be addressed. So we are looking at re-seeding the affected areas and replacing the whole square in the autumn.”
Regardless of his frustration, McCurdie took time to offer his best wishes to Paul Hoffmann, the former Scotland pace bowler, who is now the groundsman at Uddingston and has already served up two cracking surfaces for CB40 action this month.
“At least we have given Paul some decent time to get things ready, which was better than letting things drift, and this is a great opportunity for him to prepare a pitch for a four-day game, because these length of contests don’t happen very often,” said McCurdie. “It is a big disappointment and I am feeling a bit frustrated at the moment, but I wish Paul all the best and I’m hopeful that Mannofield will be back to peak condition in 2013.”