Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Fire in Babylon (2012) - Documentary

I wonder what took them bloody two years to release this fantastic 2010 British Documentary on West Indian cricketers one year in our part of the world. But I am glad it did finally and we get to see the ups and down in Windies cricket with some real good insight thrown in by the some of the greatest crickets of world cricket like Viv Richards, Michael Holding, Gordon Greenidge, Sir Clive Lloyd, Joel Garner etc. With never seen before footage – this is too good to be missed by anyone who loves and lives cricket. How cricket changes not only the lives of the people who play it – it makes a big difference to their culture too – you’ve got to see this to believe that. I can never forget those days in early 80’s, my mom was and is still a big fan of Windies – whenever their matches will be on TV and Viv Richards or Clive Lloyd is playing – we will not be served lunch, as she refused to go to kitchen as her favorites played on. As long as they played against the world she will be cheering, praising and even praying for them but when they played against India – she will be the one to curse them. I can never forget the way Marshal and Holding bowled those dreadful bouncers. I guess that was the best time for the game of cricket, now a day it’s so technical and commercial that it isn’t that much fun. They were unbeatable for guess what? Fifteen years on the trot from 1980 to 1995 – never lost a test series.

Rowe, Roberts, Garner, Croft and Richards
The Documentary: West Indies is one team which has been my favorite right from my school time days – when cricket wasn’t that much available on TV. Whenever they would visit India or India will go to play with them to foreign destinations – it will be a sight to behold. Fantastic was the way they batted, bowled and fielded. I was shocked to see Sunil Gavaskar playing against the best of the bouncers that too without wearing a helmet – I guess he was the only cricketer who did that during those days. Now a days, you should see the way they come prepared wearing so many pads and stuff to not to get hurt. This is one of its kinds of documentaries that I ever saw on West Indian cricketers. It was heartening to see them up close and personal in this one, I guess this was the first time I saw Vivian Richards talking his heart out and telling us so many never known facts of their life. How and why they became a powerful side, what took them to beat the world and prove that they weren’t a spent force. It was stunning to see what they did against England on their own turf and against Aussies in Australia. How that changed the life of millions of black migrants world over. This proves very clearly that cricket is just not a sport, its way too more than just a game. How the new crop of cricket players emerged in early 70’s in West Indies and later when Clive Lloyd was appointed as captain in mid 70’s – it changed the game in totality for Windies. I still remember my mom rated him too high and realized he was respected world over as one of the greatest cricketers of his own times; he is still respected big time.

Sir Clive Lloyd
The documentary talks about the struggle West Indian players had faced in the initial years; their pay packets were so thin that it was tough for them to keep up with the changing times. It talks about the ban they faced by playing against the apartheid South Africa and its effect on Windies cricket. The arrival of Gordon Greenidge, Desmond Haynes, Joel Garner and Malcolm Marshal (My all time favorite bowler) in West Indian cricket team. They were unstoppable and unbeatable for so many years in Test Cricket especially. I remember those days very clearly when they were one of the most feared cricket teams ever. It shows us everything about them, the good days, the struggle, the emergence of modern cricketers. Even today when I see their new age Chris Gayle, Simmons, Bravo, Sammy or Kieron Pollard batting, it reminds me of those great criketers. One of the best part of the documentary was its background score and music – I totally loved Bob Marley’s presence in it, although brief but it was too good. It was heartening to see him meeting the team and telling them to win for the country. He even sang songs to motivate them.


Anonymous said...

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Rohit Sharma said...

Thanks a bunch my friend.
Thats pretty encouraging.