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Old 02-09-2017, 02:57 PM   #1
decode reality
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Default Fire In Babylon - cricket documentary

The West Indies cricket team that emerged in the mid 70s really got me into cricket, and this is a brilliant documentary. Not only does it reflect on what a formidable and entertaining side they were, it gives the social and cultural backdrop to their success.

Their emergence was as much a product of post-ww2 political dynamics as Muhammad Ali's, without being as outspoken as Ali. It's the story of a team that had long been regarded as underdogs which then went on to dominate the sport for fifteen consecutive years.

It's also the story of how individuals from various islands in the Caribbean region, each with their own differences- islands that had been part of the British colonial empire until the 1960s - were able to come together and unite, becoming the leading players in a sport that had been the sole preserve of the ruling classes.

Their story is about the sport per se, but it's also bigger than the game of cricket. At a time when there was little money to be made in the game, they really played for pride, to inspire/entertain their audience, and to use cricket as a platform to express their view of the times.

TRAILER: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sg3_NIUv7Z0

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Old 02-09-2017, 03:04 PM   #2
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I used to watch cricket on the telly, and got into it because the England V West Indies matches of the late 70's and 80's were really great.

I lost interest when Ch4 took over coverage from the Beeb. I'm sure the Ch4 coverage is fine, but just something about the adverts interrupting the flow of it for me.
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Old 02-09-2017, 03:53 PM   #3
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I used to watch cricket on the telly, and got into it because the England V West Indies matches of the late 70's and 80's were really great.

I lost interest when Ch4 took over coverage from the Beeb. I'm sure the Ch4 coverage is fine, but just something about the adverts interrupting the flow of it for me.
They were such exciting matches, and the atmosphere in the crowd was a big part of that sense of occasion. I started to watch county cricket more, as many of those players were members of county teams.

In those pre-satellite television and pre-internet days, there wasn't wall-to-wall coverage, and with four years' gap between each Test series, it added to the relish.

I agree re Channel Four, but it's probably far worse on Sky now.

FAO: Mods - is there any chance you could post the trailer on my original post as an embedded video? I tried but it didn't work.
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Old 02-09-2017, 04:18 PM   #4
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They were such exciting matches, and the atmosphere in the crowd was a big part of that sense of occasion. I started to watch county cricket more, as many of those players were members of county teams.

In those pre-satellite television and pre-internet days, there wasn't wall-to-wall coverage, and with four years' gap between each Test series, it added to the relish.

I agree re Channel Four, but it's probably far worse on Sky now.

FAO: Mods - is there any chance you could post the trailer on my original post as an embedded video? I tried but it didn't work.
Yeah, it was great watching Marshall, Ambrose & Willis tearing up the field. I enjoyed watching the spin bowlers too. My favourite English batsman, the unconventional Derek Randall wasn't a feature of the West Indies matches much though, more of an Ashes hero.

I've watched a bit of the 20/20. It's not the same. Lol.
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Old 02-09-2017, 05:52 PM   #5
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What kind of a game takes multiple days to play one match?

Its torturous!
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Old 03-09-2017, 08:06 AM   #6
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What kind of a game takes multiple days to play one match?

Its torturous!
I'm not particularly into F1 but some people can't get enough of it. I could say the same about other sports, or other people's cherished interests. Horses for courses.
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Old 03-09-2017, 08:08 AM   #7
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Yeah, it was great watching Marshall, Ambrose & Willis tearing up the field. I enjoyed watching the spin bowlers too. My favourite English batsman, the unconventional Derek Randall wasn't a feature of the West Indies matches much though, more of an Ashes hero.

I've watched a bit of the 20/20. It's not the same. Lol.
Yep, I remember Willis with that run-up! That performance at Headingley to save the Ashes was something else. Of all the Windies bowlers, I think Marshall is regarded as the greatest because of his consistency, even with so many other greats such as Holding, Garner etc.

I always enjoyed Randall, a really unorthodox batsman whom you never knew what he'd do next. Great fielder as well. Botham, Robin Smith and Allan Lamb were my favourite England batsmen, Alec Stewart and Pieterson later on.

I've gotten into 20/20 a little more, but that's after many years of resisting it!
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Old 03-09-2017, 01:43 PM   #8
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Yep, I remember Willis with that run-up! That performance at Headingley to save the Ashes was something else. Of all the Windies bowlers, I think Marshall is regarded as the greatest because of his consistency, even with so many other greats such as Holding, Garner etc.

I always enjoyed Randall, a really unorthodox batsman whom you never knew what he'd do next. Great fielder as well. Botham, Robin Smith and Allan Lamb were my favourite England batsmen, Alec Stewart and Pieterson later on.

I've gotten into 20/20 a little more, but that's after many years of resisting it!
The documentary looks fun. The trailer focusing on the "injuries". Lol.

In London back then most of the black kids would be supporting the Windies against England. Fine by me, the supporters made it all the more exciting. So, spill the beans, Decode, who were you rooting for?
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Old 03-09-2017, 05:24 PM   #9
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The documentary looks fun. The trailer focusing on the "injuries". Lol.

In London back then most of the black kids would be supporting the Windies against England. Fine by me, the supporters made it all the more exciting. So, spill the beans, Decode, who were you rooting for?
I was a Windies fan. No choice really, coming from a Jamaican family, despite being born and bred in Blighty! I failed Tebbitt's 'cricket test' before he even coined the phrase.

Viv Richards was the star of that series. I remember being in London on holiday during the hot summer of '76 and seeing coverage of the tests all over the news stands, though I never got to attend a game.
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Old 03-09-2017, 05:27 PM   #10
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Yes, the injuries... you had to be brave as a batsman then.
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Old 03-09-2017, 05:33 PM   #11
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I was a Windies fan. No choice really, coming from a Jamaican family, despite being born and bred in Blighty! I failed Tebbitt's 'cricket test' before he even coined the phrase.

Viv Richards was the star of that series. I remember being in London on holiday during the hot summer of '76 and seeing coverage of the tests all over the news stands, though I never got to attend a game.
Ah, the summer of '76: water draughts, ladybird infestations, bin bags lining the streets, Punks dressed in bin bags, glorious sun, and cricket.

Yeah, I'd much rather watch Viv Richards batting than Gatting batting. Yawn!
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Old 03-09-2017, 05:45 PM   #12
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Ah, the summer of '76: water draughts, ladybird infestations, bin bags lining the streets, Punks dressed in bin bags, glorious sun, and cricket.

Yeah, I'd much rather watch Viv Richards batting than Gatting batting. Yawn!
The series was just right for the times, though I also seem to remember a couple of the tests being drawn due to rain. Some things never change.

I'd seen Viv Richards the previous year for the inaugural Cricket World Cup. No great shakes as a batsman then, but as a fielder he ran out a couple of Aussies in quick succession. His Test career started off shakily but Clive Lloyd had a lot of faith in him, which eventually paid off.
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Old 02-02-2018, 07:20 AM   #13
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A good interview with the two captains from the amazing 1976 England v West Indies test series.

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Old 02-02-2018, 07:26 AM   #14
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And here's the trailer.

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Old 02-02-2018, 08:51 AM   #15
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Wonderful documentary and IMO the WINDIES circa late 70s/ early 80s the greatest test side. But I am sure others can make a case for other teams.
Clive Lloyd was the key to bringing harmony, as well as being a diplomat well...who would argue with him!!. Sir Viv took the mantle over and again everyone knew who was in charge.
I love the story about Viv and Patrick Patterson!.

The 3rd test 1976 Holding Vs Close!. How brave was Brian Close!. 46 y.o. and no helmet.
Closey was Vivs county captain and when he got hit in the ribs and stumbled Viv came over
and said " you alright Skip?" "Fuck off" came the reply as Close would never let anyone think that they could hurt him!.

Clive Lloyd Gordon Greenidge Colis King , Viv, the underrated Derryk Murray, Holding,Daniel
etc etc etc what a team!!!!
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Old 02-02-2018, 09:06 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by hokuspokus View Post
Wonderful documentary and IMO the WINDIES circa late 70s/ early 80s the greatest test side. But I am sure others can make a case for other teams.
Clive Lloyd was the key to bringing harmony, as well as being a diplomat well...who would argue with him!!. Sir Viv took the mantle over and again everyone knew who was in charge.
I love the story about Viv and Patrick Patterson!.

The 3rd test 1976 Holding Vs Close!. How brave was Brian Close!. 46 y.o. and no helmet.
Closey was Vivs county captain and when he got hit in the ribs and stumbled Viv came over
and said " you alright Skip?" "Fuck off" came the reply as Close would never let anyone think that they could hurt him!.

Clive Lloyd Gordon Greenidge Colis King , Viv, the underrated Derryk Murray, Holding,Daniel
etc etc etc what a team!!!!
How different those times were. Today, no international team would bring in a 36 year old, much less a decade older.

I first saw the Windies on tv in '74. It was the final test against England at Headingley, and a swashbuckling innings by Keith Boyce won the game and squared the series. The atmosphere had all the excitement of a First Division football match. I just followed the team from then. Their last magical moment was when Lara broke the world record in 1994 or something.

You must share the Patterson anecdote.

Last edited by decode reality; 02-02-2018 at 09:06 AM.
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