Smith disappointment at England cancellation
Neil Drysdale (CricketEurope)
Roddy Smith, the chief executive of Cricket Scotland, has spoken of his frustration and disappointment at the confirmation that next month's scheduled meeting between Scotland and England at the Citylets Grange in Edinburgh has been cancelled, due to the bad weather, which left the pitch under water.
The contest, on August 12, which was comfortably the highest-profile fixture on the 2012 calendar, was jeopardised when the Water of Leith burst its banks last week, leaving many parts of the ground flooded for the first time ever. Following more heavy rain yesterday and with an unpromising forecast for the next fortnight, the Grange Club and Cricket Scotland took the decision to cancel the match, although this will raise questions about whether it could not have been held at another venue, such as Cambusdoon in Ayr or Mannofield in Aberdeen. Yet, as Smith pointed out, significant numbers of corporate guests and companies had invested in this showpiece occasion and he considered it unrealistic to search for a Plan B at such a late stage.
"We looked into the possibilities of moving the game to other venues in Scotland and England, but the logistical and financial practicalities were, unfortunately, impossible to overcome," said Smith. "The ECB were very helpful, but it was just not practical in the time frame involved.
"It is a huge disappointment to lose this game, because we had prepared extensively for it, and the players were all looking forward to playing England [the world's top-ranked side] in front of a large crowd and the live Sky cameras. But the flood damage at the ground has just made it massively problematic to build the temporary arena [encompassing 3,200 seats and a marquee area] for the match. The ground is owned by the Grange Club and both parties agreed that the potential long-term damage to the ground would have been extensive if we were even able to build the stands."
Scotland's CB 40 fixture against Durham at the same place is also being moved to another venue, but thtussle against Somerset on August 19 is still scheduled for the Grange. The damage, however, has already been done in this wretched summer.