Travel UK

Words & Wickets Cricket Festival

Sam has played cricket for a London-based actors team throughout the years, and until now I have avoided going to a single, solitary cricket game for multiple reasons. One being the poor weather. The other being that I have no idea how cricket is played other than sometimes matches last for days. A bit like Quidditch.

Sam was invited to play for an amalgamation of several London actors teams to form a super actors team in the Words and Wickets Cricket Festival at Wormsley. The weather was supposed to be perfect, the grounds are known to be some of the most beautiful in the world, it raised money for charity, Belvedere was providing cocktails, and as Sam’s guest I got free drinks. I was obviously going to this match.

Beautiful doesn’t even begin to describe Wormsley Cricket ground. It was originally  Sir Paul Getty’s private cricket ground. (He fell in love with cricket after being introduced to it by Mick Jager.) It’s a replica of The Oval, complete with a mock-Tudor pavilion. The Queen Mother and Michael  Caine watched the first match on the grounds. It clearly has a history of awesome people being there.

And then, lo and behold, another offering to strike my fancy! If you attended the festival, you could arrange a tour of the Wormsley Library. It’s the private collection of the Getty family and contains a first edition of “Canterbury Tales” and a Shakespeare first folio. Basically, there’s no reason it wouldn’t be love and first sight for me.

The match was the final one in the festival – actors versus writers (the writers having played the musicians the previous day). You can see a selection of the team lineup on the website. And whilst the actors walked away defeated in the end, truly I was the winner as I got to partake in this.

This was the festival’s second year – the lovely minds behind Words and Wickets are trying to make it an annual event. I can firmly say that even as a sports enthusiast lite I would go again. And I’d encourage people to follow Words and Wickets on twitter to stay in touch with information for attending next year!

groundscountry cricket pitchwarm up
The actors warming up.
team huddle
I spy Sam.
main buldingcricket watching hatsam batting
Sam at bat.
getting belvedere
Sam claiming his prize bottle of Belvedere.

While my understanding of the rules of cricket has skyrocketed, I still don’t think I could explain it to you.

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  • Cricket confuses the hell out of me too. I’d go for the free booze and sunshine any day though!

    • That was 100% the reason I went. The cocktails were lethal in combination with the sun. As you can tell by how red faced I look…. Ha! x

  • While it don’t quite “get” cricket, my fiancΓ© Ty LOVES so I try to be supportive haha. How beautiful at those grounds though!?!

    • Just when I thought I was understanding all the rules, something new would happen that would upend my idea of what I thought. I brought a picnic blanket and took up far more space than I should have so I could sprawl in the sun. x

  • Gianni Washington

    The last sentence of this post kills me. Hahahaha.

    • It summarises how I feel now about cricket. Maybe I enjoyed the scenery and the weather a bit too much to fully appreciate the intricacies of the game! x

  • My initial conversation with Sam went, “so it’s like baseball but you run back and forth and if they don’t tag you out you can stay in forever?” Wormsley is so stunning. I can’t believe it used to be Getty’s private ground! Imagine getting to see that beautiful countryside ever day! x

  • I have a vague understanding of cricket and by vague I mean almost non-existent. But, I would go for the free booze and tour of the library too!

  • Oh my Indian friend tried to explain cricket to me once and gave up after I asked the same questions in different terms a hundredth times! Even though I don’t get it, it seems interesting though – like polo in that way – and that day looks like it must have been fun! The grounds look beautiful! I would have been so excited to visit that library!!xx

    • I think I understand about 75% of the rules now, but not much of the jargon. Like what “wickets” are, etc. But I’ve never been to a polo game and know nothing about it so I’m sure I’d be equally lost there. Regardless, it was fun to be in such a beautiful place with amazing books and history! xx

  • I do not understand cricket at all and have never even attempted to understand it!

    • If we went to a game together, I could tell you who was winning but not a whole lot more than that. πŸ™‚ x

  • When Sam’s team was at bat I watch and cheered them on. But….embarrassingly….most of the day I just spent enjoying my surroundings. I even brought a nice book…. That’s right. I was the person with their nose in a book at a sports game. No shame. x

  • What a fun day out, so British! It seems one of those things you have to do at least once!

    • Haha totally. And I did have fun. I shouldn’t have been such a stick in the mud about it in the past. x

  • When I was in high school my AP English Lit teacher had us watch a Bollywood movie called Lagaan (which has nothing to do with English Lit… he was such a great teacher… *sarcasm*)… and a big part of the movie is a cricket match. Part of our final exam included questions about the rules of cricket (did I mention how great of an ENGLISH LIT teacher he was?) Incidentally it is one of my favorite movies… Even after all that, I still don’t know what in the world is happening during a cricket match!!!

    • I’ll have to look this film up! Did he try to relate it to the curriculum at all!? x

      • haha no, it was purely to waste time. He also liked to tell us stories of his trip to India and pass around his photo albums… and he wonders why very few of his students passed the AP exam! lol But seriously it is a really good movie if you like Bollywood. Long, of course, but the cinematography is amazing and the costumes so beautiful.

  • Again with the cute hat! I love it and I’m glad you had fun

  • Your life is like a Hugh Grant movie. !!! I love it.

    • Hahahahaha! I wish we had Hugh Grant movie style apartment living. Like his flat in Bridget Jones or Notting Hill – you’d have to have millions to own one. I especially don’t buy it for Notting Hill. It’s just too fabulous for a bookstore owner. And I love it! x

  • Haha, oh man, I love it! What a great reason to attend cricket. I wouldn’t have a freaking clue if I watched. But yeah for a tour of a library and drinks! Sounds like the loveliest of days. x

    • Next time Sam plays I’ll definitely invite you along! Although I cannot guarantee a) nice weather or b) free drinks. So actually….maybe that won’t be any fun. πŸ˜‰ x