Cricket Documentary: 20 Best Titles Worth Your Time

A cricket documentary provides a deeper perspective on news events, delving into the more profound aspects. Within the realm of cricket, some exceptional programs stand out. Let’s explore the finest among them.

20 Cricket Documentaries Worth Watching

1. *The Man Who Bought Cricket* (2022)

Cricket Documentary

The Man Who Bought Cricket” is one of the latest additions to the lineup, offering a captivating glimpse into the life of Allen Stanford. He’s the man who boldly staked a staggering $20 million USD as prize money for a single cricket match, yet, beneath the surface, it concealed a web of deceit.

To the world, Stanford portrayed himself as a highly successful entrepreneur with a genuine desire to rekindle the flame of West Indian cricket. However, his so-called ‘success’ rested on Ponzi schemes that ultimately led him to incarceration.

But how did he find his way into the world of cricket? I won’t reveal too much and spoil the documentary, but it delves deep into this question. It’s clear that Stanford had a genuine passion for the sport, and after relocating his business to Antigua, that passion began to flourish.

The $20 million showdown was a one-of-a-kind T20 game featuring a touring English team and a group of West Indian players known as the Stanford Superstars. The match itself lacked excitement, with an easy victory for the home team, but this was only a fragment of the entire narrative.

With cameo appearances by English cricket stars like Luke Wright and Stuart Broad, it’s a gripping story that leaves you pondering how the world of cricket became entangled in this scandal.

2. *The Test: A New Era for Australia’s Team* (2020)

cricket web series

Australian cricket underwent significant changes after the fallout from the tumultuous 2018 series against South Africa. Captain Steve Smith was succeeded by Tim Paine, and the coaching reins were handed over to Justin Langer, replacing Darren Lehmann.

This 2020 documentary shadows the Australian team’s journey to rebuild their global reputation. Both Langer and Paine welcomed the idea of this comprehensive eight-episode “fly on the wall” series.

Viewers gain unprecedented access to the Australian dressing room, providing a raw perspective on life as an international cricketer. Langer emerges as a commanding figure, unreservedly honest with his players, and determined to prevent a repeat of the 2018 blunders.

Among all the documentaries on the list, I wholeheartedly recommend this one as the premier example of the ‘fly on the wall’ style program.

3. *Fire in Babylon* (2010)

Cricket Documentary

The West Indies once stood as an imposing cricket powerhouse, and this tale unveils their ascent during the 1970s and 1980s.

Before iconic figures like Michael Holding and Viv Richards claimed the spotlight, West Indian cricket was renowned for its ‘Calypso’ style – immensely entertaining yet not always victorious. A new generation of players embarked on a mission to alter this perception, aiming to conquer the game in all its facets.

“Fire in Babylon” weaves together captivating archival footage and insightful interviews with the era’s pivotal figures. It’s a treasure trove of nostalgia for those who lived through those times and a crucial documentary chronicling the West Indies’ rise in cricket over two defining decades.

4. *501 Not Out* (2019)

Cricket Documentary

If you’re familiar with cricket’s rich history, you’re probably well-versed in the subject of this documentary – the legendary Brian Lara. The title, “501 Not Out,” pays tribute to Lara’s astounding feat of scoring 501 runs for Warwickshire against Durham in 1994, a record-breaking individual total in the sport’s annals.

This documentary hit the screens in 2019, a quarter-century after that monumental innings. However, it’s not confined to one chapter of Lara’s career. “501 Not Out” presents the entire Brian Lara narrative, featuring insights from his friends, family, and teammates. It’s a captivating exploration that unveils the life of a man who, during his playing days, often shied away from the media’s spotlight.

5. *Roar of the Lion* (2019)

Roar of the Lion

“Roar of the Lion” chronicles the triumphant return of the Chennai Super Kings to the Indian Premier League after a two-year absence enforced by a spot-fixing scandal that led to their exclusion from the 2016 and 2017 editions.

In 2018, Chennai reclaimed its rightful place, and this program offers an inside look at their charismatic captain, MS Dhoni, alongside pivotal players like Ravindra Jadeja, Suresh Raina, Dwayne Bravo, Ambati Rayudu, and Faf du Plessis.

Dhoni candidly reflects on the challenging times and the impact of others’ actions on the team. For a captivating peek behind the scenes of a top-tier sports team, “Roar of the Lion” stands as an unrivaled choice.

6. *Death of a Gentleman* (2015)

Cricket Documentary

In this compelling story, the central figure is none other than test match cricket itself, and the documentary poses an intriguing question: how does this traditional red-ball game align with the modern era? Cricket scribes Jarrod Kimber and Sam Collins embarked on their journey initially intending to track Ed Cowan’s quest to establish himself in the Australian national team.

However, as the narrative unfolds, the journalists shift their focus to examining the governance of the International Cricket Council (ICC). They probe whether associate nations are getting the attention they deserve and whether test cricket is being marginalized in favor of limited-overs formats. All these revelations and more await viewers in this enthralling documentary.

7. *MS Dhoni – The Untold Story* (2016)

Cricket Documentary

In India, MS Dhoni’s revered status comes second only to Sachin Tendulkar’s. Hence, it’s hardly surprising that “The Untold Story” made waves upon its 2016 release. This production is, essentially, a biographical film, with actor Sushant Singh Rajput portraying the role of Dhoni.

The program kicks off with real footage from the thrilling 2011 World Cup final, a game where Dhoni led his team to a dramatic victory. From that point, the narrative journeys back to his birth in 1981, and this is where the actors step into the spotlight.

It offers an in-depth portrayal of his early life and his entire cricket career, culminating in that unforgettable World Cup performance in 2011. For admirers of MSD and cricket enthusiasts at large, “The Untold Story” is a definite must-watch.

8. *Cricket Fever: Mumbai Indians* (2019)

cricket web series

What’s it really like being part of an IPL franchise? The Mumbai Indians have been the most successful team in the history of this competition. In 2019, a program closely examines Rohit Sharma’s team as they tackle their 2018 campaign.

Cricket Fever takes you through the entire season. It all begins with Mumbai participating in the auction, with high hopes in the air. Sadly, this season doesn’t go their way, and they miss the playoffs, which is a rare disappointment for the team and its owners.

It’s a rollercoaster of highs and lows throughout the IPL season. I highly recommend watching this Netflix series, especially if you’ve seen “Roar of the Lion,” which also covers the events of the 2018 season.

9. *Inside Story: A Season with Rajasthan Royals* (2020)

Cricket Documentary

In 2020, the Rajasthan Royals took center stage in a captivating three-part documentary called “Inside Story.” This documentary delves deep behind the scenes, offering a genuine glimpse into life within an IPL franchise.

What makes this documentary so fascinating is its comprehensive coverage. It doesn’t just grant viewers access to the players; it takes you on a journey through every facet of the Rajasthan team’s operations, right up to the boardroom. However, for many, the true allure lies in the interactions with the cricket stars. The documentary features extensive interviews with Sanju Samson, Steve Smith, Ben Stokes, and other key players as we follow the Royals during their 2019 campaign.

10. *The Edge* (2019)

Cricket Documentary

From 2009 to 2013, England boasted a formidable cricket team, showing strength both in their home turf and on foreign soil. Yet, not everything was smooth sailing behind the scenes, particularly when it came to the controversies revolving around Kevin Pietersen during this period.

“The Edge” provides an exclusive look behind the scenes of that victorious team, offering a glimpse into the dressing room and the lives of the key players. With a blend of humor and deep insights, this documentary is highly recommended.

11. *Out of the Ashes* (2010)

Best Cricket Documentaries

This isn’t your typical England versus Australia rivalry documentary. Instead, “Out of the Ashes” delves into the incredible tale of the Afghanistan cricket team.

In particular, the program focuses on their journey to qualify for the T20 World Cup in 2010. Considering the challenges within the country, the Afghanistan cricket story is nothing short of remarkable, and this outstanding documentary captures it beautifully.

12. *Sachin: A Billion Dreams* (2017)

Best Cricket Documentaries

When you think of the greatest batsman in the modern era, it’s impossible not to think of Sachin Tendulkar. A documentary about him was bound to happen. But what exactly are these “Billion Dreams”? Perhaps they symbolize the countless millions of fans who have cherished him since he entered the cricket scene.

“A Billion Dreams” is split into two parts: the first delves into Sachin’s early life, while the second hones in on the period when he reigned supreme as a modern batting legend. The entire documentary is a captivating journey, offering an intimate look at one of cricket’s true superstars.

13. *The Ashes: The Greatest Series* (2005)

Best Cricket Documentaries

Was the 2005 Ashes series the most remarkable in cricket history? While fans from other countries might debate this, it is an extraordinary set of five test matches.

For 18 long years, England hadn’t claimed an Ashes series victory, and when they lost the first match, the drought seemed destined to persist. “The Greatest Series” documentary chronicles the complete games and tells the inspiring story of England’s comeback. Regardless of your cricket loyalties, this is an exceptional narrative of test cricket at its finest.

14. *Branded a Rebel* (2013)

Branded a Rebel

Being an avid English cricket fan, I was well-informed about the English players who embarked on rebel tours to South Africa. In contrast, I had limited knowledge of the similar tours undertaken by West Indians between 1982 and 1984.

“Branded a Rebel” tells a truly enlightening story. While the English players were eventually accepted back into the cricketing fold, the West Indians faced lifetime bans from the Caribbean cricket scene. Some found success in other pursuits, while others struggled in cricket and life.

This documentary provides a well-rounded perspective, shedding light on the reasons behind the bans, considering the context of Apartheid in South Africa. Simultaneously, it delves into the poignant consequences faced by each player involved.

15. *Beyond All Boundaries* (2013)

Beyond All Boundaries

The 2013 release offers a captivating glimpse into the world of Indian cricket enthusiasts. Cricket fans are likely familiar with one of the film stars: Prithvi Shaw, a 12-year-old who, despite the early loss of his mother, aspires to build a cricketing career and bring pride to his father.

While we all know how Prithvi Shaw’s story unfolds, “Beyond All Boundaries” introduces us to two other key figures. The documentary features Akshaya Surwe and Sudhir Kumar Chaudhary. You’ll definitely recognize Chaudhary when you see him – he’s the passionate Sachin Tendulkar devotee who stands out in the Indian cricket crowd.

Can these three individuals achieve their dreams? You’ll need to watch “Beyond All Boundaries ” to uncover the answers.

16. *Botham: The Legend of ‘81* (2011)

Botham: The Legend of ‘81

If you haven’t had the chance to witness the remarkable 1981 Ashes series, I strongly recommend that you do so. It’s often referred to as ‘Botham’s Ashes.’ While Ian Botham wasn’t the sole hero behind England’s victory, his incredible efforts stand as one of the greatest comebacks in sports history.

In many respects, this series surpassed even the 2005 Ashes in terms of sheer astonishment. England seemed to be on the brink of defeat, especially after they were forced to follow on at Headingley. Then, Botham’s astonishing 149 runs and Bob Willis’s seven wickets turned the game around.

Botham continued to perform heroics at Edgbaston, and England secured an unlikely 3-1 series win. It’s truly astonishing, considering he had lost the captaincy at the beginning of the series due to poor performances. “The Legend of 81” is undeniably one of the most incredible sporting tales of all time.

17. *Crossing the Line* (2018)

Crossing the Line

The 2018 test series pitting South Africa against Australia will go down as one of the most controversial in cricket history. We all vividly recall how it culminated in the infamous Sandpaper Gate, but even before that point, tensions were running high between the two teams.

“Crossing the Line” stands out among my favorites list because it fearlessly explores this captivating narrative. If I had one critique, it would be that it could have been expanded into a series instead of just a single 56-minute feature.

With insights from influential figures in the game, “Crossing the Line” delves deep into a series that will forever be associated with its regrettable incidents.

18. *India vs Pakistan: A Bat and Ball War* (1999)

India vs Pakistan: A Bat and Ball War

While I’ve previously discussed the rivalry between England and Australia, I’m well aware that it pales in comparison to the intensity of India vs. Pakistan. “A Bat and Ball War” delves deep into the clashes on the cricket field, highlighting the broader issues that resonate in everyday life between these two nations.

The documentary zooms in on Pakistan’s historic 1999 tour of India, a memorable on-field battle. While there’s palpable tension during the matches, off the field, a remarkable camaraderie exists among some of the players.

This mutual respect reaches its peak when the Chennai crowd cheers the Pakistan team as they take a victory lap around the stadium. I understand that such moments are not always the norm, making this unexpected aspect of the documentary truly eye-opening.

19. *Legends of Cricket* (2001)

Best Cricket Documentaries

This series’s title should already hint at its focus – it celebrates some of the most legendary cricket players ever. This series started back in 2001, featuring 25 outstanding cricketers, and the names on this list won’t shock any avid cricket enthusiast.

It all begins logically with the great Sir Donald Bradman and then takes you on a journey through the lives of other cricket legends like Garry Sobers, Viv Richards, Shane Warne, Jack Hobbs, and Sachin Tendulkar.

The list doesn’t stop there; it includes Dennis Lillee, Ian Botham, Sunil Gavaskar, Richard Hadlee, Malcolm Marshall, Len Hutton, Barry Richards, Steve Waugh, and many more cricket luminaries.

“Legends of Cricket” provides an enthralling peek into their remarkable careers, and some incredible moments are captured on film to make the experience even more captivating.

20. *BBC’s Not Cricket* (2004)

Best Cricket Documentaries

“Not Cricket,” a documentary series produced by the BBC in 2004, is a revealing exploration of the darker underbelly of cricket. This compelling series delves into the unsettling world of cricket scandals, spotlighting issues like ball tampering and match-fixing that have plagued the sport. Despite the uncomfortable subject matter, the BBC is commendable for its comprehensive and empathetic treatment of these contentious topics. It provides viewers with a thought-provoking and informative look at the less savory aspects of the beloved game of cricket.

Finally, as a die hard fan of cricket, you should check our best 21 cricket games list.

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