130-year-old Edinburgh cricket club under threat from artificial hockey pitches plans
CRICKETERS warn a 130-year-old Capital club is under threat from plans to turn its first team square into artificial hockey pitches.
Members of Heriot’s Cricket Club are fearful for their future as Goldenacre after landlords George Heriot’s School look to develop their pitch.
If planning permission is granted, the Citylets Scottish Cup holders will have to play their first XI matches on the second cricket pitch away from the clubhouse.
Robert More, the former Scotland player who still turns out for the club regularly, said: “In my opinion this could bring to an end 130 years of history at Heriot’s Cricket Club in the near future because it would be a struggle to go on without being able to use the first XI square.
“Having attended the school and played cricket at the ground for 25 years myself, I have given my opinion to the Principal and I believe if these plans go ahead then cricket at Goldenacre could come to an end if not immediately then very shortly.
“You have a pavilion there which currently overlooks an international cricket venue and to give that all up just makes no sense at all.
“The school own the grounds, but I thought the club’s views on the matter and the future provision of cricket at the school and the club would have been of interest.
“We have significant plans for cricket at Goldenacre going forward because we know just how good the current facilities are with two of the best turf pitches in the country side by side.
Scotland and Derbyshire player Mark Watt also waded into the row – before being blocked on Twitter by George Heriot’s.
He tweeted: “Heriots cricket club has no doubt shaped my career, if it hadn’t been for this great club giving me the opportunity it has I would probably not be a international player representing my country.
“Would love the school to give all its pupils the same opportunity.”
As part of the planning process, the school unveiled its plans to the community at Goldenacre this week at an information event.
They say they have a “commitment to cricket” and would upgrade the second cricket pitch in order to continue this.
The school hope to have a final council decision by early 2020.
A George Heriot’s School spokeswoman said: “George Heriot’s intends to seek planning permission for two new artificial water-based surface pitches at Goldenacre.
“If approved, these pitches would cater for hockey up to national level 1 standard and be used as dry pitches all year round for other sports.
“Goldenacre will continue to provide excellent facilities for rugby and cricket.
“The opportunity for enhanced facilities will benefit our students and the wider community and we hope the improved surfaces will have a positive impact on Scotland’s sporting achievements.
“We are at the initial consultation phase of this process and welcome all feedback to help us refine our plans.”