Imagine if two guys who had somehow stumbled into the cricket media and decided to make a film about just what is happening with Test Cricket.
Death of a Gentleman is a feature-length documentary film exploring the final days of the death of Test cricket, and the people who hope to save it.
Test cricket is a part of the world’s sporting history – a cricket match between USA and Canada was the first ever international sporting event, Babe Ruth wanted to meet Don Bradman, Wisden is the most famous sporting book on the planet – but is that all it is? Today, slowly choked by corruption, ineptitude and more generation-now friendly versions of itself Test cricket is a game left unattended in an under-staffed hospital.
If there’s a wider parallel to draw to Test cricket’s plight it’s global warming – most people are pretty aware what’s happening, but very few actually know how to save it or want to make the sacrifices to do so. It’s a bit much to sincerely compare the demise of the planet to the downfall of a game, but the value of this film is that it deals with a small industry that relates to the larger issues of the modern world.
Sampson Collins and Jarrod Kimber are cricket fans who became cricket journalists – they have worked for the biggest media organisations in the game and have the passion, knowledge, connections and enough blissful ignorance to travel halfway across the world and ask the big questions of those who decide cricket’s future. Someone has to watch the watchers, and with Test cricket fans facing their potential apocalypse, why not stumble into a few big wigs and ask them what they are doing to save it? Collins and Kimber stumble as well as anyone in cricket.
Join them as they fly out to watch Ricky Ponting and Sachin Tendulkar slug it out one last time and try to understand why Australia is forsaking the Baggy Green cap for a few afternoons of fun, speaking to the biggest names in cricket – and the fans who will ultimately decide its future – along the way.
Death of a Gentleman is not a nostalgic look back at a sport that professionals played against amateurs while stopping for tea. It’s a modern tale about how sport and money collide, taking in the rise of India, the curse of the professional administrator and a sporting world where fans are better connected to – but more disconnected from – their heroes than ever before.
Can a well-respected five-day relic be saved by a generation who don’t have time to watch a two-minute video on YouTube, or is Test cricket already dead?