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Top 6 best cricket Documentaries/TV Series

Looking for the best documentaries in cricket? In this article, check out the top 6 best cricket documentaries/tv series.

Last updated: 28.09.2022
Top 6 best cricket Documentaries and TV Series

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Looking for the best documentaries in cricket? In this article, check out the top 6 best cricket documentaries/tv series. 

1. India vs Pakistan: A Bat and Ball War (1999)

A Bat and Ball War goes way beyond the battles on the cricket field as it underlines the issues between these two countries in everyday life. The documentary focuses on Pakistan’s historic tour of India in 1999 where the action on the field was unforgettable. There is a genuine tension between the sides on the pitch but, away from the field, there is a healthy atmosphere and a real camaraderie between some of the players. That level of respect increases when the Pakistan team is cheered around the stadium in Chennai as they undertake a lap of honor. I’m aware that those feelings are not always present but this was an eye-opening side to this brilliant documentary which I wasn’t expecting.


2. Botham: The Legend of ‘81 (2011)

If you’ve yet to view the footage behind the extraordinary Ashes series of 1981 then I urge you to do so. It’s subsequently been referred to as ‘Botham’s Ashes’ and, while he wasn’t solely responsible for England’s win, Ian Botham’s efforts mark one of sport’s greatest ever comebacks. In many ways, this series was even more incredible than the 2005 Ashes. England was down and out and, having followed on at Headingley before Botham’s astonishing 149, plus seven wickets for Bob Willis won the game. Botham goes on to perform more heroics at Edgbaston before England completes an unlikely 3-1 series win. Considering he lost the captaincy at the start of the series following poor displays, The Legend of 81 is one of the most incredible sporting stories of all time.

3. Fire in Babylon (2010)

The West Indies were a fearsome force in cricket and this story tells of their rise to prominence through the 1970s and 1980s. Before the emergence of household names such as Michael Holding and Viv Richards, West Indian cricket was known for its ‘Calypso’ approach – highly entertaining but not necessarily effective. The new crop of players set out to change all that as they looked to dominate the game in both its formats. Fire in Babylon includes some memorable stock footage as well as interviews with a lot of the key players of the time. It’s great nostalgia for those who remember it and it’s also an important documentary about the rise of West Indian cricket through the decades.

4. MS Dhoni – The Untold Story (2016)

In India, MS Dhoni’s God-like status is second only to that of Sachin Tendulkar. It’s therefore no surprise that The Untold Story was a big hit when it was released in 2016. This production is, in fact, a biopic with actor Sushant Singh Rajput playing the part of MS Dhoni. The program begins with actual footage from the 2011 World Cup final, a game in which Dhoni took his side over the line in a tight finish. From there, it goes back to his birth in 1981 and that’s where the actors take over. It’s a very comprehensive round-up of his early life and his entire cricket career up to that memorable World Cup innings in 2011. For lovers of MSD and cricket fans in general, The Untold Story is another must-watch.

5 . Out of the Ashes (2010)

This isn’t as you might expect, another documentary relating to the rivalry between England and Australia. In fact, Out of the Ashes covers the extraordinary story of the Afghanistan cricket team. More specifically, the programme looks at the team’s qualification for the T20 World Cup in 2010. When you think about the issues within the country, the story of Afghanistan cricket is a remarkable one and this brilliant documentary covers it perfectly.

6. Branded a Rebel (2013)

As an English cricket fan I was fully aware of the rebel tours to South Africa that were undertaken by English players. By comparison, I was largely ignorant of similar tours carried out by West Indians between 1982 and 1984. HF4 Branded a Rebel is a really illuminating tale. Whereas those English players were welcomed back into the game, the West Indians received lifetime bans from cricket in the Caribbean. Some began successful careers elsewhere while others went completely off the rails, both in cricketing terms and for life in general. It’s a balanced documentary and it’s easy to understand why the bans were put in place, given the background of Apartheid in South Africa. At the same time, the sad consequences relating to each player are fully covered.

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