Sledging aside, cricket is 'funny'

Australian actor-writer-producer Brendan Cowell is heading for India to make a feature film about the funny side of cricket.

updated: February 25, 2008 14:08 IST
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Verbal duels, or sledging, have dominated this whistle-stop India tour by the Baggy Greens, but Australian actor-writer-producer Brendan Cowell is heading for India on Sunday to make a feature film about the funny side of cricket.

The star of the new Australian film `Noise', Cowell said, "It's going to be funny because it's guys, cricket and India. Cricket is funny. Its chubby men in white pants standing around all fascinated over a hard red sphere, all day long. Also India can be quite the fish-out-of-water experience for those new to it!"

Before his maiden visit to India, Cowell says: "I played and loved the game since I was five. For me it's the gentleman's game - a patient, chess-like game in white pants."

The film is loosely based on the documentary `Save Your Legs!' - the true story of the Abbotsford Anglers Cricket Club team who embark on a cricketing odyssey from the Australian suburbs to the sub-continent.

Part human drama, travelogue and comedy, it's a documentary of colourful characters and a clash of cultures.

Cowell says: "I want to make a film about relationships - about male relationships, about those friendships that go back to when we were boys and now, at 30-35 everything changes because things like marriage and kids and renovations take the front seat and the age old collective known as 'the boys' starts to fall away.

"Some guys can't quite cope with this, some can't wait to get away from it. What happens when the touring comes to an end? What happens as we get older and you can't play cricket every weekend any more?"

So amongst all the cricketing nations, why did he choose India for his film?

Cowell says: "Lets face it, India is the heart of cricket."

During his month-long stay in India, Cowell will visit the 150-year-old Madras Cricket Club besides Varanasi and Kolkata.

"And of course catch the one day match between India and Australia in Mumbai. Any chance of some tickets?" he asks.

He will be meeting a "heady mix of cricket officials, street cricketers and, of course, some Bollywood types. The lead character will be played by an Indian and we intend to cast from both countries".

The film will be shot mainly in Melbourne and assorted cricket grounds across the sub-continent.

Cowell will follow the same that route the Anglers' team travelled and played and then. He says: "My girlfriend and I are going to look around what I hear and read is a truly magical place, if a little chaotic!"