I was asked to be by the landline at 1 pm, and at 12.59 pm, the phone rang. On the other end was the excited voice of 44 year-old ex-cricketer, Boyd Hicklin, who has produced and directed the feature film Save Your Legs, premiering tomorrow at the National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA).
In 2001, when he was touring India with a B-grade cricket team, he began documenting the team’s journey. “I was a leg spin bowler and had always wanted to make a documentary.
The cricketers were exciting people and the film is a comedy, adventure and drama — narrating the relationship the players shared with each other.” While the film was being documented, we were in our mid-20s, when we could do anything we wanted.
The film sheds light on the phase when the players touch their 30s — lives change, they get married, have children, buy houses and cricket becomes less important. The story is about men who don’t want to grow up, and want to continue playing cricket for their country,” says Hicklin, whose film is shot in Melbourne, Kolkata, Varanasi and Mumbai.
The film is about 30 year-old Teddy Brown, whose life revolves around his teammates and local Melbourne cricket club, the Abbotsford Anglers. As his mates confront middle-age challenges, faced with the prospect of his club coming apart, Teddy pitches a three-match tour of India and a mission to meet Sachin Tendulkar.
“The challenge was to find actors who could play cricket,” smiles Hicklin, who finished filming in August this year.
Pallavi Sharda, a 25 year-old actress, plays the role of Anjali. “I play a character who grows up in Melbourne and moves to Mumbai for work. I have a friendly relationship with the team, who used to frequent my father’s cricket shop 10 years ago in Melbourne.” narrates Sharda, sharing her accent dilemma. “I speak two English accents — Indian and Australian. We finally went ahead with a mix of both for the film,” she smiles.
At the London Film Festival, where the movie was recently screened, Hicklin was thrilled to meet director Gurinder Chadha. “Sports and entertainment are my passion. And Bend It Like Beckham was an inspiration. She loved our film, which was the greatest compliment.”