5 Best Cricket Movies
Cricket is loved by many. About 2.5 billion people worldwide follow cricket competitions. The game began as a children’s pastime in 17th England. Now it’s a widely popular sport and one of the favourites for betting among Indian gamblers. Still, this game has such a passionate fan base that quite a few top-rank movies are dedicated to the theme.
Cricket fans can’t complain about the lack of action in their lives, though. There’s always a top-notch competition: tours, cups, ODI, and Test matches. If you enjoy betting on sports, look no further: you can earn real money by betting on cricket on 10CRIC. Isn’t there any match going on today? Don’t worry; grab a popcorn bucket and join us while we talk about the best movies about cricket.
Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India – 2001
Lagaan is a very successful Bollywood movie. In 2022, it was nominated for the Best Foreign Film at the Academy Awards. Not only that, its name is among the 100 best films of world cinema and a Top 25 sports movies, according to Time magazine. In the plot, poor peasants challenge their rulers to a cricket match. The bet? Cancelling three years of abusive taxes.
The story unfolds during the colonial times, and the British occupiers were way more experienced than the peasants. However, if the peasants’ team lost the game, the taxes would be doubled instead of weaved. “Lagaan” is the name of the tax that farmers of that time had to pay to the English occupiers.
The movie’s climax is the final cricket match, of course. The game was filmed and directed in a way that the audience doesn’t need to know the rules to enjoy it. There’s also quite a lot of romance and drama to it, as the protagonist has to decide between one of two loves: his childhood love or a Victorian woman.
Wondrous Oblivion – 2003
Wondrous Oblivion follows the story of a Jewish boy, David Wiseman, who settled in England with his German family after they fled the Holocaust. The story takes place in 1960s London. David Wiseman is crazy about cricket but miserably unskilled at it. His technique improves when he meets the coach Dennis Samuels, a Jamaican immigrant.
David quickly becomes the best cricketer at his school. While he trains with Samuels’ daughter, who’s the same age, his mother begins to feel attracted by Samuel’s charms. Her husband pays little attention at first. Still, the situation changes throughout the movie, adding more drama to the plot.
Apart from cricket and sentimentalism, this movie also treats the audience with accurate depictions of that tumultuous time. The ashes of WWII were still in the air, and the ripples of the Notting Hill race riots could still be felt; we can see it all in the movie. It’s a quite light-hearted movie and a great start for those beginning to learn about the game.
Victory – 2009
Here’s one to the diehard cricket fans out there. Victory is arguably one of the most focused movies in this sport. In fact, the movie is all about the game, where real cricket players play characters. It tells the story of an extremely talented and overly arrogant cricketer who’s forced to start all over again due to poorly judged choices.
Victory isn’t based on any real-life cricketer, though. Yet, the movie is so realistic that most of it really feels like true-life accounts. Our hero is Vijay Shekhawat, who almost wasted his brilliant career in vanity, lust, and greed. Victory is a story about outplaying our enemy before overcoming other life challenges. Unfortunately, the movie didn’t live up to its name at the box office, but it’s a quite entertaining and well-played story nonetheless.
Fire in Babylon – 2010
Fire in Babylon mixed cricket with the political turmoil of the 1970s and 80s when the West Indies cricket team decided to play for real. It’s a documentary instead of a drama, so everything here comes from true events. At that point, the West Indies team was known for its cheerful loser style, called “calypso cricket”.
The team changed its attitude radically when the white South African playing for England, Tony Greig, threatened to make them “grovel”. The despicable racial abuse, aimed to undermine the team’s morale, backfired tremendously: the West Indies became pretty unbeatable after defeating English and Australians repeatedly.
Fire in Babylon is a racially charged story about overcoming difficulties and challenging prejudice from white colonial powers. It’s also fantastic to see Tony Greig paying for his abuse before a packed stadium.
The Lady Vanishes – 1938
Amid so many inspirational movies, including cricket, Alfred Hitchcock’s The Lady Vanishes may feel like a stranger in the nest. It’s a classic movie, though, and it’s cricket-oriented enough to figure on this list. Yet, not a single ball is thrown during its 96 minutes.
The thriller is about Caldicott and Charters, two cricket fans who are travelling by train to watch a Test match in England. The train is forced to stop because of a problem during the route, and its passengers must stay overnight. Caldicott and Charters talk a lot about cricket events during this period and also during the entire movie. The dialogues have precise information, references, and jokes that only true cricket fans can enjoy.
There’s a famous scene where Wally Hammond’s dismissal is explained with sugar cubes. The interaction between the two characters is vital for the plot, and a lot of it has to do with cricket. In fact, the pair had such good chemistry that they appeared in other movies and even hosted their own TV show at BBC for a while.
End of Game
Cricket isn’t a recurrent theme of movies or documentaries, although it’s a very fertile one. There are light-hearted options, epic dramas, documentaries, and even a Hitchcock thriller. So, there’s a movie for every kind of cricket fan. Those who enjoy biographic movies can also have a look at titles like M.S. Dhoni – The Untold Story, and Azhar, both from 2016.