Aberdeen pitches hit by vandalism
Mannofield Park in Aberdeen, which has hosted one-day internationals, has lost the services of most of its pitches for the start of next season after the ground was hit by vandalism early this year. The extent of the damage has only just come to light.
Ken McCurdie, the groundsman, initially thought the problem had been caused by a burst hose which had spilt oil during the season but when he tried to reseed the problem areas he noticed the issue was more serious. The square has 12 pitches available of which 10 have been damaged.
"I called in a soil expert and they soon told me it was caused by a type of weedkiller that isn't for normal use and damages the soil," he told ESPNcricinfo. "They say it can take six months to work through the system and because it's freezing cold here at the moment all I can do is wait. I live at the ground and each morning I open the curtains and just wish I could fast forward the next six months. I'm just hoping for a mild spring.
"Whoever did this clearly knows something about cricket because it is the ends of each pitch that have been damaged. It's not as though someone has just come in a sprayed this stuff randomly."
The ground was due to stage two CB40 matches next summer which have already been moved to alternative venues and the Intercontinental Cup match between Scotland and Canada in July is also under threat.
Cricket Scotland are keeping tabs on the situation but won't be getting involved in the investigation. "We are leaving it in the hands of the club," Roddy Smith, the chief executive, said. "We only rent the venue off them to host games. Hopefully it will be alright later in the summer but if we have to move more matches we have other options."
Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo