Scotland cricket officials fear for game against English after floods

WORRIED Scotland cricket officials last night feared they will have to call off their showpiece clash with England – more than a month before it is due to be staged.

They underlined their anxiety after the country’s top venue – Citylets Grange in Edinburgh – looked more like a loch than a cricket ground. The latest downpours to hit the capital left the outfield under several feet of water in places, with part of a perimeter wall collapsing under the strain. And Cricket Scotland operations manager Euan McIntyre admitted he and his colleagues are likely to have “some hard decisions” to make over the visit of the English superstars, scheduled for 12 August.

McIntyre said: “The scene at the Grange is very bleak. The whole area around the ground is completely saturated – there is just nowhere for all the excess water to go. There must now be some doubt about our ability to host the England match, which is a big concern. Even if the actual playing area recovers, it would leave the problem of trying to erect the temporary stands and other paraphernalia we would need for the game. A lot of that stuff is earmarked to be located where the water is at its deepest and the surface may be struggling to cope. With no effective drying weather on the horizon, the issue will need to be addressed sooner rather than later and some are decisions may have to be made.”

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This week’s crucial World Cup qualifying matches against Canada at Citylets Grange been cancelled, with McIntyre and his colleagues desperately trying to find an alternative playable venue. Scotland’s four-day I-Cup tussle with the Canadians at Uddingston was washed out without a single ball being bowled last week. And despite the fact that the Bothwell Castle Policies wicket may be playable, the International Cricket Council could not grant the ground ODI status at such short notice.

Match referee David Dukes yesterday inspected conditions Ayr’s Cambusdoon, which is an accredited venue. And last night it was confirmed the sides will square up there tomorrow and Wednesday.