Death Of A Gentleman
Artist: Sam Collins, Jarrod Kimber and Johnny Blank
When the dust settles on this feature at close to the 90-minute mark, you cannot help but feel that this tragic story is a labour of love. Death of a Gentleman initially started out as an effort by cricket journalists Sam Collins and Jarrod Kimber to document the slow demise of Test cricket. What started out as a kind of a nostalgia piece slowly turned downright murky across three years as the duo ended up with a view from behind the scenes of how the big three of Australia, England and India (read: BCCI) have risen to an almost oligarchic control over the game. The start of the filmmakers’ journey is almost hopeful, as they shadow the Aussie batsman Ed Cowan at the time of his Test debut. The film ends with Cowan out of the side; the drama surrounding its makers goes in a parallel vein. With the coming of the T20 format, the duo realise that the big three control most of the money in the sport and are in actual fact throttling its access to the other associate and affiliate nations, sometimes even by overt threats to cancel tours. Some major players, including Lalit Modi, N. Srinivasan and David Giles (now ECB chief), make their case in trying to explain what they have been bringing to the party over the past decade or so. Yet at the end of this documentary, you realise that the fan wasn’t really invited.