Grange gala makes up for England hit

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Cricket Scotland chief 
Roddy Smith wants to make the Saltires’ final match of the season at Raeburn Place a gala occasion in recognition of the hit taken by the host Grange club through foul weather causing a series of cancelled internationals.

The latest game to be moved because of saturated ground conditions is the Clydesdale Bank Pro 40 match against Durham with an announcement expected today that this tie will be switched to Uddingston.

Flooding also caused two one-day internationals against Canada to be re-routed to Ayr earlier this month but the most high-profile casualty is the biennial meeting with England which has been cancelled on August 12 with no other Scottish ground capable of providing an infrastructure similar to the Grange, where seating for 4000-plus corporate hospitality facilities was planned.

Smith said: “We are still hopeful that the visit of Somerset to the Grange on August 19 can go ahead and would want to do something special for the fans who have been left disappointed.”

However, there was no doubting Smith’s frustration when he talked about the English cancellation.

“This is an opportunity missed not only because there is always a chance a game like that could have been won,” he said.

“Some 4000 people were going to be entertained in a fantastic arena with live television coverage taking place. Our players have been preparing all year to play England and we looked at all sorts of possibilities for playing the game.

“However, there is a big difference between what we could organise at the Grange and 800 seats placed around the boundary which is what we’d have been restricted to elsewhere.

“England are already committed to playing Scotland and Ireland in alternate years and their schedule for 2013 was just too crowded.”

“Scotland will play Bangladesh (in the Netherlands) next Tuesday so there are still targets to aim at while the under-19s can hopefully provide some good news from their World Cup which starts in Australia next month.”