Cricket blogging is a largely solitary experience. It’s usually me in a dank corner mumbling to myself “bloddy Hauritz, I’ll get him, I’ll win”.
Then every now and then, people contact you. Mostly it’s a company who are offering you something vaguely cricket related that your readers will love, but just once it was the director of a cricket film.
I was given the film ‘Out of the Ashes’ not long after i’d seen fire in babylon, but due to the actual Ashes, it just travelled around Australia with me. One one night back at my parents place, I told my mum about it, and she demanded I put it on.
My mum aint no cricket nut, her trip to the boxing day test this year was her first test match to the G since she used to go to perve on DK Lillee’s chest.
She loved this film. She was cheering, laughing and crying as these kids try and make in in the world of sport and are utterly unsuccessful at picking up in Jersey. I now think she has a crush On Taj Malik, the coach.
I loved it too. That two cricket documentaries like this and fire in babylon can exist at once should encourage people with money to fork it over for more cricket films, because they are clever, well made, inspiring tales that are entertaining to watch even to a casual cricket fan.
Cricket boards try to get new followers in with stupid cheerleaders, fireworks and rubbish websites, but a great film can convert someone just as well, is often cheaper to make and will last a lot longer than fireworks.
In this film you aren’t following Afghanistani cricketers, you’re following cricketers. It doesn’t matter where they come from, as important as that might be, these are just a bunch of young out of their environment cricketers who are trying to come together as a team.
Their coach, Taj Malik, is someone from every cricket club in the world. The man who will stand on the street and teach two kids the game just because he loves it. To me he is cricket. He is everything that is great about the game. And if I ever were to meet Tak Malik in the street, I think I’d just hug him for as long as I could before he wriggled away and ran.
I could give this film a real review. Could talk about the excellent pacing, amazing camera work, classy editing and amazing story, but I won’t, I’ll just say this, if you ever find yourself in a situation where cricket pisses you off, buy, rent or steal this DVD, because if this can’t restore your faith in cricket, nothing can.
Cricket With Balls has managed to steal 10 copies of this film from the distributors while they weren’t looking. They can only be posted in the UK, but if you want one, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with the name and a brief story (50 words or less) of the person who introduced you to cricket. My ten favourite will get the DVDs and I’ll post your words up here.