Scots' hopes are hit as Grange is submerged
William Dick (CricketMedia Scotland)
Scottish cricket was hit by more weather woes last night when its premier venue was left under FIVE FEET of water.
The Citylets Grange in Edinburgh suffered serious damage when the Water of Leith burst its banks, sending gallons of water pouring onto the historic venue.
Cricket Scotland officials immediately launched the search for an alternative venue for this week’s World Cricket League fixtures with Canada which were due to be held at the Grange.
And next month’s glamour one-day international against England was also plunged into doubt.
The latest blow came as the Saltires’ four-day Intercontinental Cup clash with the Canadians was abandoned without a ball bowled at Bothwell Castle Policies.
Yet, the Uddingston venue has emerged as the only possible alternative to host this week’s games – despite not being accredited to stage official one-day internationals.
Officials from the governing body (International Cricket Council) were last night heading to Scotland to inspect the ground where one of the boundaries is understood to be too short to meet ICC regulations.
Euan McIntyre, Cricket Scotland’s head of operations, said: “The weather has left us with serious problems.
“It is clear that the games can’t go ahead at the Grange where there is five feet of water lying at the bottom end of the ground and a third of the playing surface is under water.
“I have been in touch with the ICC in Dubai and they are prepared to look at Uddingston to see if it can meet ODI standards.
“Realistically, it is the only ground which could possibly stage these games because our four ODI venues have all suffered with the unprecedented levels of rain and nobody has had a chance to prepare a wicket.”
Richard Done, the ICC’s High Performance Manager, is expected to deliver his verdict on the Uddingston venue today.
However, McIntyre added: “A few processes will have to be gone through at short notice and the ICC would be setting a precedent by approving a new venue at this stage.
“It might all be irrelevant anyway if this weather continues!”
MEANWHILE Pete Steindl, the Scotland coach, was left frustrated by the I-Cup washout against the Canadians.
The sides were awarded ten points apiece, sufficient to take the Scots into second place in the eight-team table, nine ahead of Afghanistan and eight behind Ireland.
However, Steindl had designs on a maximum 20-point haul against a side Scotland have beaten in all three previous I-Cup meetings.
Steindl said: “It’s obviously a blow because you are looking to get your points through playing and winning.
“Home ground advantage is traditionally quite important in the I-Cup so this is obviously an opportunity lost.
“But at the end of the day there is nothing you can do about the weather and we can’t afford to worry about what might have been.”
The Scots have just one home game remaining in the current campaign - against Kenya – while they must travel to face closest rivals Ireland and Afghanistan.
A top two finish will see them qualify for a second consecutive I-Cup final and Steindl added: “We have to focus on taking as many points as possible from our remaining matches.”
DOMESTIC cricket also suffered again at the hands of the weather with all fifteen of yesterday’s scheduled Scottish Cup matches rained-off.
It is the third time in the last four weeks that all senior fixtures have been abandoned.