On Sunday, some of the best cricketers in Scotland will be gracing the grounds of Merchiston to play in a 50-overs-a-side match.
Throughout the early part of this summer, the regional sides – the Eastern Knights, the Western Warriors and the Caledonian Highlanders – have been playing each other regularly at various different locations in the Tilney Pro50 event.
To date, all of the Knights’ matches at home have been played at Mazars Grange’s Portgower Place in Stockbridge, but Cricket Scotland has decided to host this match on the school grounds.
That a match of such calibre is being held at the School is due in no small part to the hard work that head groundsman Mike Yan Hip, Stuart Chalmers – himself a former Scotland cricketer – and the other groundstaff have put in on the main square over recent years.
This week’s rain has not helped their preparations, but the new covers supplied by Ben Property have helped and Yan Hip and his team have been working around the clock to make sure that everything is in place and ready to go come Sunday morning.
Yan Hip said: “We are delighted to be hosting this match at Merchiston.
“Cricket plays a big part in life here at the School and over the last few years we have had international sides like Pakistan and Afghanistan here to train. Hosting this fixture is just the next part of the journey.”
The Knights have already won the Pro50 tournament and are set to receive the trophy on Sunday. With top class players like former-Merchiston pupil Oli Hairs and Scotland caps such as George Munsey, Ali Evans and Mark Watt in the mix to play, they will be hard to beat.
However, the Warriors have Scotland caps like Matthew Cross, Calum MacLeod and ex-South Africa player Rory Kleinveldt in their ranks and they are very dangerous on their day.
“I think it is brilliant that this match is coming to Merchiston,” director of sport Rory McCann, who himself played cricket for Ireland, said.
“To have such top quality cricketers in the boys’ back garden is excellent and hopefully as many of them as possible will get out on Sunday and have a watch.
“We have a proud tradition of cricket at Merchiston and hosting games like this can only help increase the strength of the sport within the School.”
The Knights are coached by Merchiston coach Steve Gilmour, and he added: “The facilities at Merchiston are great and all of us are looking forward to the match there.”
Eastern Knights v Western Warriors
Sunday, June 2 at 11am
Merchiston Castle School (enter via Patties Road)