The Top Cricket Movies Of All Time

It’s no secret that cricket has thrived in countries that were once part of the British Empire.

The sport remains extremely popular in England, Australia, New Zealand, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, South Africa, and the Caribbean. Those who didn’t grow up with the sport often wonder why cricket is so widely loved, as matches can last for five days and still fail to produce a winner.

The answer to this is that, at all levels, cricket is as much of a social activity as it is a game. What other sport stops for a lunch break that could – and in local Sunday leagues almost certainly does – involve a beer or two with teammates and opponents? Spectators are typically just as rowdy, with cricket facts showing that attendance at cricket matches peaked in the 20th century and was particularly strong before the era of televised matches.

Just like any major sport, cricket has inspired some great films. Let’s have a look at some of the top movies cricket-focused movies that have been praised by both worldwide audiences and critics.


Fire in Babylon (2010)

This British documentary is simply a must-watch for all cricket lovers. It tells the true story of the record-breaking West Indies team that reigned over the cricket scene throughout the ‘70s and ‘80s.

The documentary describes how a West Indies team consisting of highly talented and entertaining “Calypso Cricketers” became the world’s most feared outfit and dominated the sport for 20 years. It begins with an introduction to the West Indies team and features interviews with West Indies cricket legends such as Sir Clive Lloyd, Sir Viv Richards, Sir Gordon Greenidge, Michael Holding, and Andy Roberts.

The movie gives us a brief history of cricket in the Caribbean. It introduces us to Sir Frank Worrell, who was the first black man to captain the West Indies team, and also the arrival of cricketing greats such as Sir Everton Weekes, Learie Constantine, and Sir Garfield Sobers.

Although these early cricketers were supremely talented, they never achieved outstanding results as a team, and so they were perceived as Calypso cricketers. That all changed in the 1970s when a new generation of West Indies cricketers emerged and showed the world what they were capable of.

The movie was written by and directed by Stevan Riley, who received the prestigious UNESCO Award at the Jamaica Reggae Film Festival in 2011.


Playing Away (1987)

Playing away is a made-for-TV comedy film directed by Horace Ové. It’s a gentle parody of manners and reversal of black and white stereotypes.

The movie tells the story of a cricket match played in a pretty Suffolk village, where the local outfit faces off against a team of Caribbean descent from the London suburb Brixton of London. It is a tale of a culture clash between inner-city urban black Britain and rural white England through a game of cricket.

When the locals of Seddington invite the Caribbean Brixton Conquistadors to their hometown for a game of cricket to mark African Famine Week, some of the villagers are livid. Having had limited exposure to people from outside the village, they’re concerned that the Conquistadors will bring drugs and riots to the village.

The proud captain of the Conquistadors is ready to accept the invitation, but he’s also having trouble convincing his rowdy players to say yes. In the end, they agree to play and the Brixton cricketers head to Seddington.

From the moment the Conquistadors arrive, all kinds of hilarious incidents occur. Just by being there, the Conquistadors destabilise the fragile class structure that keeps the village together.

During the match, the Seddington team is on the brink of winning. However, in an ironic twist, the home team collapses due to infighting and mental weakness, which is exactly how the Brixton team had been stereotyped.


Wondrous Oblivion (2003)

This British movie was released in 2003. It’s an intimate film about playing cricket, growing up, and learning how to respect diversity.

The movie tells the story of a young Jewish boy living with his immigrant parents in London in the 1960s London. The boy (David Wiseman) is absolutely nuts for cricket and owns a large card collection of his favourite players.

David’s life changes when a West Indian family (the Samuels) moves into the Brownstone next door. The Jamaican Immigrants play loud reggae music and use fertiliser, which bothers the community. David’s father Victor warns him to steer clear of these outsiders who are different.

When Dennis Samuels creates a cricket cage in his backyard and starts practicing cricket with his young daughter Judy, David forgets about his father’s warnings and comes out to play. The Jamaican man sees how bad David is at cricket and decides to start tutoring him. David strikes a friendship with Dennis’s daughter, which also gets the bigots in the community talking.

Nevertheless, David’s mother is pleased with Dennis. She grows attracted to him because of his tenderness towards David, who never received much attention or praise from his father.

The movie explores issues of race, romance, and friendship, and shows how prejudice can be dealt with in ways that can draw out the humanity in everyone.