Smith plays down Saltires hotel incident
Neil Drysdale (CricketEurope)
Cricket Scotland chief excutive, Roddy Smith, has responded to allegations that several members of the Scottish Saltires squad were involved in acts of vandalism and rowdy behaviour in a Somerset hotel last month.
Several Scottish newspapers reported on Friday that the alleged behaviour of up to five players had caused "fear " and "disgust" among other residents, who were staying at the Holiday Inn in Taunton, but Smith issued a detailed rebuttal of some of the claims.
"Yes there was an incident, but it feels somewhat overplayed [by some parts of the media]," declared Smith on Friday afternoon, in relation to the events which happened on the same weekend that the Scots were beaten emphatically by the Sabres in their CB 40 clash.
"The bed damage was a jug of iced water thrown that did, unfortunately, soak a mattress. The offer was immediately made to replace the mattress once we [the Saltires management] were advised of it. There was no broken/smashed bed or vandalism as was wrongly reported!
"The few players actually involved were spoken to directly and the whole team was reminded of its representative status. We are all aware of how some sectors of the media are overly keen to portray any such incident in as negative and sensationalistic a light as possible and that the players need to be constantly cognisant of their responsibility toward the young people who aspire to be like them.
"While it is unreasonable to expect them to be perfect, it is not unreasonable to expect them to maintain higher standards of conduct as soon as they put the country's uniform on.
"This was an isolated incident and was largely related to noise issues. I would not wish to be seen to be playing that down because it clearly is important that the team realizes it must coexist with other hotel users.
"Their judgement was, indeed, poor, but not at the level apparently reflected [in the published article(s)]. They made themselves an easy target and it is a hard lesson for them to learn.
"The reality is that it was a minor incident, it was and has been swiftly and appropriately dealt with, and I think that the current interest in the matter will serve no positive purpose."