Stirling will become the home of Scottish cricket after an agreement between Cricket Scotland and Stirling council. The development will see a new pavilion and indoor training facility built at New Williamfield, the home of Stirling County Cricket Club, with Cricket Scotland relocating its headquarters from the National Cricket Academy at Ravelston, Edinburgh.
It is hoped that the redevelopment of the ground will start later this year, with the intention being to upgrade it to international match standards. Scotland will play the majority of their home international games at the ground, starting with the World T20 qualifiers in the summer of 2015.
"This is an exciting year for cricket in Scotland, with the national team qualifying for the 2015 World Cup and more and more people participating in the sport every year," Keith Oliver, Chairman of Cricket Scotland, said. "We very much look forward to moving into a new world-class centre for cricket in the heart of Scotland, with excellent facilities and an upgraded ground.
"The new facility, which will be of one-day international standard, will serve as the perfect training centre for Scotland's players at all levels and international teams seeking a training base out of their own season. It will provide a world-class facility for players, members of the club, the local cricket community and visitors to watch matches at all levels and to truly engage with our increasingly popular sport."
The hope is that the facility will also form part of Stirling's planned Sports Village at Forthbank, which is set to be the home of Scotland's National Centre for Curling.
"We're thrilled at the prospect of welcoming Cricket Scotland to Stirling and very much look forward to progressing this project with them," said councillor Corrie McChord, convenor of Stirling council's community planning and regeneration committee, which has given approval to the agreement in principle. "As Scotland's city for sport, Cricket Scotland couldn't find a better home."
George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo