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Expect war, not just cricket in 'Fire in Babylon'
Cricket fans have been relishing one of the best documentaries about West Indies cricket, Fire in Babylon, which also received a UNESCO award. The documentary talks not only about rise of West Indies cricket's dominance, but also about the passionate fans for whom the game was bigger than anything else.

MANY DOCUMENTARIES have talked about cricket and cricketers, but none of them has been as exciting as 'Fire In Babylon', which directed by Stevan Riley. It was officially released on October 2010, but cricket fans in India would only get to taste the high voltage documentary Friday (today), as it is set for release on big screen here in selected PVRs.

The documentary would reflect upon the West Indies team of the 1970s and 1980s and an insight into the cricket's greatest team. The documentary also won a joint UNESCO award at Jamaica Reggae Film Festival 2011.

If you think that the West Indies had the most aggressive bowlers in world cricket, this documentary will make you re-think. It was the Australian team, which comprised of Dennis Lille, Thompson, who used to scare the hell out of the batsmen with their chin music. Even the great West Indies team failed to withstand their bowling or their sledging.

It was at this time that West Indies realised the need of raw pace bowlers and then came into the picture – Joel Garner, Malcom Marshall, Andy Roberts to name a few. So one can give the credit to the Australian bowlers for the rise of the West Indies team. It also talks about the racism in cricket during those days, which is 1000 times more than what it happens today.

The documentary goes on to show how these players began to prepare for the upcoming tours. They soon began to dismantle teams all over the world with their fiery bowlers. Michael Holding along with Andy Roberts showcased dominance in world cricket by making things difficult for the batsmen. Most of the balls would fizz past their ears at tremendous pace.

The documentary even looks more special as top legendary West Indian cricketers of that time such as Viv Richards, Holding, Clive Lloyd, Joel Garner have talked about the competition that existed during the matches. It was not a competition like what we see today with bowlers limited to a number of bouncers per over. Bouncers during those days meant aggression and not a stock delivery. The documentary has footages of players hit by bouncers all over the body and in some cases it was a blood bath. 'It was war, not just cricket'. Those were the times when players in spite of facing chin music did not wear helmets.

This is a documentary, which every cricket fan in the world cannot afford to miss. We have heard many a time about the games played in the 70s and 80s were the best. This documentary justifies it. One wonders, how many of the cricketers of our current generation would have been able to survive as cricketers during those days, when it was more about passion than money, more about nation than family, more about the game than life.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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