THIEVES have stolen an entire cricket wicket from a club in Bannockburn.
The 30 yard by four yard strip of astro turf was “surgically removed” from the nets area at St Modans Sports and Social Club.
The nets are used for practice by St Modans HSFP Cricket Club, whose 30 amateurs play in the Strathmore and Perthshire Union.
Club spokesman George Pollock said the strip was part of a practice area created using a £5000 “Awards for All grant”.
He estimated replacement of the area stolen would cost “not less than £1000”.
Mr Pollock, who is also a local solicitor, said: “We noticed it was gone when we turned up for practice. It has been surgically removed by means of a carpet knife.
“I don’t think anyone has done this for badness because there is a degree of precision in the way it has been removed.
“Someone decided it has got value for something and my suspicion is that it has been taken for their garden or to use for putting practice.”
Inspector Jim Young of Police Scotland said: “The astro turf stolen would have required a considerable amount of time to remove and a vehicle or persons making return trips with a wheelbarrow to uplift this turf.
“Astro turf is expensive and has become a popular substitute to conventional grass and I suspect this stolen turf is now being fitted to a garden in the local area.”
The theft took place sometime between July 7 and July 10, but was made public today.
Fergus Reeve, on the club’s social media site, said: “This is a very expensive piece of kit and someone has stolen it.
“That will put a serious dent in our ability to practice and play over the summer.”