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5 films Indian cricket buffs must not miss

Presenting three feature films and two documentaries that are compulsory viewing for lovers of the game.

Our Correspondent

Cricket is easily the most loved sport in India, one of perhaps only two peacetime activities — the other being cinema — that brings the country together. There could be no better example of this than the way the entire country has been galvanized by an injury-ravaged India's hard-fought victory over Australia in Australia in the Test series that ended earlier this week.

While fans are now looking forward to England's tour of India and, later, the next edition of the Indian Premier League, here are some cricket films you could check out meanwhile to whet your appetite.

Wondrous Oblivion (2003)

A British film written and directed by Paul Morrison and produced by Jonny Persey, Wondrous Oblivion tells the story of the friendship between a young European Jewish immigrant and his family’s West Indian neighbours. The film was set in 1960 and also tackles issues of race, friendship and romance. It won awards at the Boston Jewish Film Festival in 2004 and the Giffoni Film Festival in 2003.

Iqbal (2005)

If you are into drama, then this Hindi film should be worth your time. Iqbal is a coming-of-age film written and directed by Nagesh Kukunoor. It is about a cricket-obsessed deaf-mute lad residing in a remote Indian village who aims to be a professional cricketer and play for the national team despite the opposition from his father and the scepticism of others around him.

The film won the National award for Best Film on Other Social Issues. It was also screened at the Independence Day Film Festival in 2016.

Lagaan (2001)

Superstar Aamir Khan produced and acted in this film written and directed by Ashutosh Gowariker. The film is set in the Victorian era, year 1893, and is about a small village in Central India. The inhabitants of the village are burdened by high taxes and several years of drought. They are challenged by a British army officer to a game of cricket to avoid paying the taxes they owe. The film revolves around how the characters learn a game that was alien to them at the time.

The film was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the Academy Awards in 2002. It also won handsomely at Indian award ceremonies. It has eight National Film awards, eight Filmfare awards, eight Screen awards, and ten IIFA awards.

Death Of A Gentleman (2015)

If non-fiction is your thing, this would be well worth your time. Death Of A Gentleman is a documentary film about the takeover of the governance of cricket by the ICC’s so-called Big Three. The film is directed by Sam Collins, Jarrod Kimber and Johnny Blank.

In this documentary are interviews with the takeover architects Giles Clarke, N Srinivasan, Ed Cowan, Tony Greig and many more important people in the world of cricket. The documentary's main focus is on the allegation that Cricket Australia, the England and Wales Cricket Board, and the Board of Control for Cricket in India want to take over the management of cricket only for their gain.

The documentary won at the prestigious Sports Journalists’ Awards in 2016. It is also highly commended in the BBC Panorama episode Catch Me If You Can and One Day In May which, respectively tackle issues in the sports industry.

Fire In Babylon (2010)

If you can’t get enough of cricket documentaries, this is also worth checking out. Fire In Babylon is a British documentary which features archival footage and interviews with Colin Croft, Deryck Murray, Joel Garner, Desmond Haynes, Vivian Richards and many more former players and officials.

This documentary is mainly about the rise of West indies cricket from being a team composed of talented and entertaining Calypso cricketers to a determined unit that dominated the world of cricket for almost 20 years.

This film won awards like the UNESCO award at the Jamaica Reggae Film Festival in 2011. It was written and directed by Stevan Riley and was also nominated for a British Independent Film award for Best Documentary.