Aberdeenshire groundsman Ken McCurdie has hit out at the vandals who have ruined the club's hopes of hosting international cricket in Aberdeen this summer.
Mannofield was selected to host the four-day Intercontinental Cup match on July 4 followed by two one-day internationals against Canada on July 9 and 11. But McCurdie's preparations were ruined when weedkiller was poured on the square last July.
The damage meant the ground was ruled out of hosting two of Scotland's CB40 games against English county opposition. And despite working round the clock in an attempt to get the ground ready for the international matches, McCurdie has been forced to admit defeat and is frustrated the culprits have not been caught.
He said: "Whoever did this knew exactly what they were doing and knew exactly where to put the weedkiller so it would have the maximum impact.
"I'm not sure if they realised the strength of the weedkiller used, but they clearly have a knowledge of cricket.
"I'm disappointed personally and for the Aberdeenshire cricketing community that they won't get the chance to watch Scotland in the city this summer."
McCurdie had hoped the recent good weather would save the day, but insists the decision to move the four-day games to Bothwell Castle and the two one-day matches to The Grange in Edinburgh is the correct one.
He said: "I was fearing the worst a couple of weeks ago but when the warm weather came last week it looked like we had a chance.
"But the weather hasn't come early enough for us and despite the ground improving it is still not at the level I want. It made sense to make the call now, four weeks before the games were scheduled to take place, than to keep working in hope and run the risk of having to tell Cricket Scotland the week before that we were not ready.
"If I was placed in the position of being asked to get my ground ready for international cricket with a week's notice I wouldn't be happy.
Article sourced from :-The Press& Journal