Agreement could be reached by the end of this year on a deal that would see Scotland’s cricket team get its own home ground in Edinburgh.
The Evening News revealed in April that housing developer AMA had been granted planning permission for a sports super-academy on the 33-acre site of the former Moray House College at Cramond.
Discussions are also taking place with Tennis Scotland and the Scottish Football Association and AMA will eventually decide which two of the three sports will be catered for.
But at a briefing yesterday Cricket Scotland raised the stakes by revealing its plans are approaching a critical stage.
“We are hoping to be in a position to push either the red or green light in the next two or three months,” said Cricket Scotland chief executive, Roddy Smith. “Discussions have been ongoing for a long time and Cramond is our main option. We are not going to leave any stone unturned in making this happen.”
Cricket Scotland chairman Keith Oliver said the situation had been put into perspective by the abandonment of a prestige fixture against England a month in advance due to flooding at the Grange club ground, in Raeburn Place, which Scotland currently hires for matches.
No alternative venue in Scotland was suitable.
Mr Oliver also indicated the ground, which could come into play by 2017 and would initially have seating for around 1800, with others accommodated on grass bankings, could be used to attract leading sides wishing to hold training camps when visiting.
It is also likely a local cricket club would be invited to base itself at the Cramond facility.
Roddy Smith said: “We estimate that having guarantees of £4 million would see us able to proceed with assistance from the ICC [International Cricket Council] and SportScotland.
“We are looking at all options but know we have to generate a fairly substantial amount of income to make it happen. We are investigating every option we can to raise funds for our own ground.”
Once AMA chooses which two of the three sports will occupy the ground a sports injury clinic and clubhouse are also set to be built.
AMA bought the Cramond site in 2002, and part of the planning agreement involved developing sports facilities.