Sports Journalists' Association Awards February 22, 2016

Death of a Gentleman scoops prestigious Sports Journalists' Assocation award


Sam Collins and Jarrod Kimber lead the Change Cricket protest at The Oval in August 2015 © Getty Images

Death of a Gentleman, the independently produced film investigating the dysfunctional governance of world cricket, has been recognised as the Television Sports Documentary of the Year at the prestigious Sports Journalists' Awards in London.

The 96-minute film, directed and produced by Sampson Collins and Jarrod Kimber, the ESPNcricinfo writer, beat off a strong shortlist including Catch Me If You Can, BBC Panorama's investigation into allegations of doping in athletics, and One Day in May, BT Sport's story of the Bradford City fire, both of which were highly commended.

MUTV's profile of the boxer Anthony Crolla, Million Dollar Dreams, also made the shortlist, alongside Missed Warnings, BBC Yorkshire's take on the Bradford disaster, and Rooney: The Man Behind the Goals by Goalhanger Films.

Collins' and Kimber's film, which premiered at the Sheffield Doc/Fest in June 2015 and has since been distributed worldwide, was cut from more than 400 hours of footage and interviews conducted in England, Australia, Sri Lanka, India and Dubai.

The project started life in 2011 as an investigation into Test cricket's uncertain future, but soon became a running commentary on the so-called "Big Three takeover", the ICC structural reforms - rubber-stamped in February 2014 - whereby India, England and Australia claimed ownership of the sport's finances, and with it the game's future.

In the course of their investigation, the duo secured key interviews with two of the three men who drove through the reforms, N Srinivasan and Giles Clarke, the then-president and chairman of the BCCI and ECB respectively, as well as David Becker, the former head of the ICC's legal department, who quit his post after blowing the whistle on India's intentions to withdraw from a tour of South Africa.

Srinivasan was subsequently forced to stand down from his twin roles as BCCI president and ICC chairman after India's Supreme Court found him to have a conflict of interest as the owner of the IPL franchise, Chennai Super Kings.

Clarke, who stepped up to the newly created post of ECB president last year, had been considered the frontrunner to succeed Srinivasan as the next full-time ICC chairman, but his candidacy received a double blow last month when it emerged that neither Australia nor South Africa would be willing to support his election bid.

At the recent ICC board meeting in Dubai, Srinivasan's replacement as chairman, Shashank Manohar, set in motion a possible repeal of many of the board's reforms, having announced back in November that he "did not agree with the Big Three countries bullying the ICC". He also announced his plans to head a five-man steering committee to review the decisions made by Srinivasan, Clarke and Wally Edwards, Cricket Australia's former chairman.

"It is brilliant that the film has been recognised but, to be honest, I'd prefer it if we hadn't had to make it in the first place." Collins told ESPNcricinfo. "We are thrilled that there has been some sort of recognition within the game that things need to change, but this is a key moment. The things that happen now have to be meaningful, and not just lip service.

"Nothing has changed yet, in the sense that the game is still looking to India and seeing what India are going to do," Collins added. "It just so happens that India at the moment, in Shashank Manohar, is talking about change.

"It's up to the boards of England and Australia to follow suit, to recognise the importance of who they put forward for positions of power, and to embrace the need for checks and balances on the people who make the big decisions in the sport."

Andrew Miller is UK editor of ESPNcricinfo. He tweets @miller_cricket

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Cricinfouser on February 23, 2016, 19:33 GMT

    Best TV Documentary. Has it been on TV?

  • geoffboyc on February 23, 2016, 15:21 GMT

    But still Giles Clarke sits in his tailor-made post at the ECB.

  •   Gulu Ezekiel on February 23, 2016, 13:02 GMT

    Waiting for ages for a screening in India. Come on guys, its most relevant here. Pull up your socks!!

  • brainbox on February 23, 2016, 12:07 GMT

    Fantastic documentary that has rightly been recognized.

  • Pegasus82 on February 23, 2016, 8:01 GMT

    @Chris Wheal - it is available on Amazon and iTunes.

  •   Chris Wheal on February 23, 2016, 7:30 GMT

    Where you can see this documentary would be a useful link/info.

  • Rahul_78 on February 23, 2016, 6:04 GMT

    Finally..there is a hope to save the beautiful game from the greed and manipulation of the top brass who are looking to rule and not run the game.

  • Cricinfouser on February 23, 2016, 2:33 GMT

    I would love to see the film. Hats off to these two gentlemen's courage to take on the so called Big Three and bring some sanity back

  • tvranjith on February 23, 2016, 1:01 GMT

    Great effort, lets hope that the big three system is removed for the good of cricket

  • Hassan_U on February 23, 2016, 0:35 GMT

    ICC were hijacked by BCCI, ECB and CA. India really need to sort themself out. They are root to lot of problems and clearly they are only interested in money then the game it self. How they didnt want to play South Africa was poor and continue to use politics against Pakistan. A strong ICC is needed to control the game.

  • No featured comments at the moment.