I finally got round to watching one of the Empire of Cricket documentaries on the BBC tonight, and I have to say, it wasn’t bad. It was the one about how the Aussie’s got good, and there was some interesting commentary and archive footage.

It included, for example, how Steve Waugh stood up to Curtly Ambrose and scored a double-ton to seal the Aussie’s first series win in the Caribbean in donkey’s years in 1995, although they neglected to mention that much of Ambrose’s fury was because Waugh had in the same match claimed a catch off Brian Lara that had obviously bounced.

The following is taken from the BBC press release announcing the show:

Empire Of Cricket

Ahead of this summer’s keenly anticipated Ashes encounter between England and Australia, BBC Two explores cricket’s rich sporting and social history in a documentary series about the four countries whose very different cricketing cultures created the modern game as we know it.

From its origins in the public school playing fields and shires of rural England to its adoption in the twilight of Empire as the national sport of emerging nations such as Australia, the West Indies and India, cricket has always been shaped by factors beyond the boundary fence.

The series contains rare and revealing archive, much of it unseen before on British television, and contributions from leading cricket writers and a glittering line-up of top players, past and present, including Kevin Pietersen, David Gower, Shane Warne, Steve Waugh, Sir Vivian Richards, Michael Holding, Sachin Tendulkar and Kapil Dev.

I enjoyed what I saw today and will certainly be watching the full series on iPlayer.