Send your news, photos and videos by texting bucksfreepress to 80360 or email
Pitch perfect: Wormsley groundsman tells all
BRIAN Lara, Shane Warne, Viv Richards, Kevin Pieterson and Muttiah Muralitharan are just some of the stars of world cricket that have played at Wormsley.
The ground has also hosted more than a hundred internationals while Dennis Lillee and Greg Chappell sparked it all off when they played for Old Australians against Old England in 1993.
It wasn’t like that 20 years ago though.
When groundsman Simon Tremlin first saw the pitch he nearly turned on his heels and walked straight out again.
He said: “It was a totally new ground, the grass was eight inches on the square, 50 per cent of that was weed and there was a six foot net to keep the deer off the pitch.
“I was on a good strip at the Bank of England ground at the time and did think about not taking the job. But I saw the potential there and wanted to work for Sir Paul [Getty, whose labour of love Wormsley is].
“I knew it was a public job that wouldn’t come around again.”
And two decades later Tremlin is still there.
He said: “It needed a lot of work but six weeks after I saw it for the first time we had an MCC match on it. It scrubs up pretty nicely.”
However, the wet summer has posed problems for even the most well-kept grounds and Tremlin admits it’s been a struggle.
He said: “We’ve just done a 100-hour week, with 12 games in 15 days including a women’s international.
“But a few weeks ago we had to take 20,000 pints off the outfield so they could play. It’s been the worst summer I’ve ever known by far, and I’ve been a groundsman for 35 years.
“The rain has been the biggest problem, but believe it not when it’s like this the square can get too dry.
“Playing at this standard, it’s paramount you get the right amount of moisture in the pitch but if the covers are on you can’t water it when you want.
“And you can’t just take the covers off for an hour either – I know how much water I’m putting on it, but I don’t know how much rain there is in the clouds.”
The Bucks Free Press has ten pairs of tickets to give away for the CB40 match between Unicorns and Warwickshire on August 19.
Gates open at 12 noon, the match starts at 1.45pm.
To stand a chance of winning, simply answer the following question: Who is the captain of the England Test team?
Email answers to email@example.com by 10am on Monday, August 6. Tickets can be collected at the ground on the day.
Comments are closed on this article.