Everyone loves a good movie and what better when it's about our favorite sport? We've compiled a list of the best in cricketing television for your binge watching needs.
Released in 2001, this Academy Award Nominated musical centers around peasants from a barren Indian village who stand up to the British land owners when they threaten to raise the already crippling land tax. The twist? Using the game of cricket to settle the matter! Filled with moments that will have you laughing one minute to crying during the other; the Bollywood movie is the perfect tribute to a game that is embedded in the culture of the subcontinent.
Oh, and here’s the best part; it’s got this guy!
Check out our review of Lagaan here.
The 1953 film about Sam Palmer’s last appearance for England is the perfect example of a sporting tearjerker at its best. Set against the backdrop of cricket, the comedy drama is, at its heart, a beautiful tale about a father’s love for his son and features renowned real-life cricketers of the period such as Denis Compton, Len Hutton, Alec Bedser, and Cyril Washbrook.
Fair warning; keep a box of tissues at hand.
The 2008 release is a telling of South Africa’s former captain, who went from national hero to international disgrace. Regaling audiences everywhere with the story of the once great Hansie Cronje after his involvement with Indian bookmakers resulted in the 2000 match-fixing scandal; the story goes on to document the player’s life and the fallout from his lifetime ban from the sport.
Though the movie strayed from the source material in some aspects; it remains an accurate telling of the inner turmoil the former national hero had to face.
The 1984 television miniseries dramatized the events of the 1932–1933 English Ashes cricket tour of Australia and the resulting bodyline cricketing tactic devised by the English cricket team. A series that not only centered around the sport but also on values, ego, and achievements perfectly showcased how and why one of the most vilified cricket strategies came into being.
The focus on Douglas Jardine's drive to get the Ashes back in England and the steps he’s willing to take is definitely a reason to watch the series!
Released in 2010, the documentary centers around the all-conquering West Indies team of the 1970s and 1980s and how they went on to inspire their nations by becoming the most feared team on the planet. Composed from archival footage and recollections from greats of the era including players like Michael Holding, Clive Lloyd and Sir Vivian Richards; the documentary is a much watch for any fan interesting in Cricketing History.
Sports fans, this one’s for you!
The 2016 Indian biopic centers around one of India’s most influential cricket players and captain to their cricket team; M.S Dhoni. Chronicling his life from his childhood to present day through a series of important events in his life and even though the film featured some notable absences when it came to events in his professional life; it still perfectly captures the essence of one of India’s greatest players. It’s no surprise that it remains to be one of the country’s highest grossing film as of yet.
Mohammad Azharuddin was widely regarded as one of the best captains in the world after leading the struggling Indian team to several important victories. The 2016 sports drama centers around the then captain of India as he fights against the allegations and ban imposed on him for match fixing. Though the film is highly dramatized in its telling, the movie highlights the fight and odds Azharuddin had to overcome to become the man respected by fans and critics alike.
Released in 2005, Iqbal tells the story of a young deaf mute boy who yearns to play cricket for the national team. Seeking the tutelage of a washed-up, alcoholic ex-player; the film is the perfect underdog flick for your viewing and tear-jerking pleasure as you watch a boy’s love for cricket overcome so many odds stacked against him. It may be on the corny side, but it’s a great watch nevertheless.
Tackling the issue of race; the 2003 British film tells the story of the friendship between a young European Jewish immigrant boy and his West Indian neighbors. The cement which binds their friendship is a deep love of cricket as the eleven-year-old David Wiseman (an arduous cricket fan with none of the talent) is coached and mentored by the West Indian family that lives next door. The film tackles various themes beautifully and shows us how the mutual love of a sport manages to overcome prejudices.
The highly successful 2007 Tamil movie focuses on the friendship and subsequent rivalry associated with street cricket; a huge part of any growing child’s life. Focusing on street cricket in India, the movie documents the journey of each character through the backdrop of cricket in a nice coming of age film that was popular enough to warrant a Bollywood adaptation!
We’ve all felt the “boom boom” fever, wanting to smash it out of the park like the Six Master himself. The 2013 flick directed by Syed Ali Raza Usman shows just that. Centered around a young boy’s dream of becoming a legendary cricketer like Shahid Afridi, the movie delves into the struggles faced by him and his team of misfits as they try to qualify for first place in a cricket tournament. Filled to the brim with cameos including the movie’s namesake, it’s a perfect if a little campy watch for any fan who loves an underdog tale.
Plus, who doesn’t love Shahid Afridi? I mean, look at that hair.