While it’s not football in terms of popularity or TV rights, cricket is a major sport in Asia and the UK. It’s the national sport of Pakistan and the biggest one in India too. Often considered a sport for the wealthy, cricket has a long history that coincides with England’s rule in India. It has remained popular in the Commonwealth since then, branching off with different tournaments and new ways of play.
The most popular series right now are the Test matches, the ICC T20 Cricket World Cup, the Indian Premier League, and the European Series T10. Cricket has millions of fans around the world, and, a bit surprisingly for sports fans, has been immortalized in more than a few movies. As a matter of fact, there are several great movies revolving around the idea of cricket which we’ll talk more about below.
This movie focuses on street cricket in India rather than professional matches. Still, it’s a great film directed by Venkat Prabhu that examines themes of love, cricket, friendship, and rivalry in suburban India. The movie received numerous Vijay Awards which are held in high regard when it comes to excellence in Tamil cinema.
A family movie on cricket that blends comedy and drama, the 2003 movie starring Delroy Lindo won the hearts of millions of cricket fans around the world. It revolves around an 11-year old boy that loves cricket but is no good at it. Lindo portrays a Jamaican neighbour next door who knows everything about the sport and builds a cricket net in the backyard.
Of course, the boy is impressed by it, and bit by bit, he gets close to the neighbours who makes him a better player. The movie won several awards in 2003 and 2004 and is widely considered one of the best drama movies based on cricket.
A Bollywood flick starring Harman Baweja, victory touches upon a cricket drama involving an over-confident cricketer who must save his ruined career. It’s a story about redemption that we’ve seen in other sports movies, but this one works great with cricket.
Released in 2009, the movie tells a story of the pitfalls associated with sports fame. While it wasn’t a major hit in Bollywood at the box office, it became a cult flick for cricket fans and sports fans in general.
Lagaan is widely considered the best cricket movie and for good reason. The 2002 film tells the story of peasants in an Indian village in the time of British colonial rule. They challenge their rulers in a game of cricket with 3 years worth of taxes on the line.
This movie isn’t just the best cricket movie – it has been voted one of the top 100 movies in Bollywood as well. It’s one of the earliest movies that displayed all the talent Aamir Khan possesses, who would go on to build a stellar career in Bollywood.
Lagaan was nominated as Best Foreign Language Film at the 2002 Academy Awards. It was a favourite according to many experts, but it lost to No Man’s Land.
Fire in Babylon
Fire in Babylon isn’t a cricket movie – it’s a documentary about the West Indies team in the 1970s and 1980s. Still, it’s a great piece of real-time drama with appearances from former players such as Clive Lloyd, Sir Vivian Richards, and Michael Holding.
The movie chronicles the rise of cricket in the Caribbean and tells the story of how the West Indies cricket team became a tour de force. If you’re a cricket buff, this is a documentary you don’t want to miss.