Home TeamsBuckinghamshire, Sir Paul Getty's XI
Current Local Time13:41, Thu Dec 07, 2023
It would be hard to find a more picturesque ground than that built by Sir Paul Getty inside his massive 2500-acre Wormsley Park estate in Buckinghamshire. As his passion for the game grew, Getty commissioned the building of a pitch inside the estate, modelled on The Oval with no expense spared. Flanked on three sides by glorious countryside, the fourth side, looking towards the wooded Chiltern Ridge, was elevated on a large grassy bank, allowing perfect viewing, with a thatched mock-Tudor pavilion for players.
Getty's contacts, the beauty of the setting and lavish hospitality ensured that his sides were filled with the best cricketers and the boundary packed with a remarkable and eclectic guest list - almost all matches were by invitation for players and spectators. Each season contained fixtures played in the truest village-green tradition, free of limited-over gimmickry or commercialism. At the ground's opening in 1992, when both John Major, the prime minister, and the Queen Mother joined him for tea in his pavilion, Getty remarked that the day had given him "the happiest summer since my boyhood".
Getty's death in 2003 raised doubts about the future of the venue, but for the next few years Lady Getty maintained the tradition.
Martin Williamson