Drama centred around Australian media mogul Kerry Packer, who fought a cricket war by secretly signing up 50 of the world's greatest players to form a breakaway tournament.
Browse content similar to Episode 1. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!
This film contains strong language
Take a seat.
You got my letter?
-Of course, and now that you're here we can...
How much do you want?
I have to tell you that we've already sold
the television rights to the ABC.
It's our usual practice, as you know.
Bullshit. You haven't signed anything yet.
-The deal's done.
-How much is it worth?
Mr Packer, that's confidential. You know that.
200,000? A bit more?
I'll give you one and a half million for the rights,
the television rights, when that deal expires.
Three years. It's got to be exclusive, all right?
Why don't you put something down in writing
and you can put in a bid for the commercial television rights?
Oh, what the fuck do I want them for?
Blind Freddie will tell you punters will watch the ABC without ads.
As Bob said, we have a long-standing relationship with the ABC.
It's a valuable partnership and we're not breaking it.
Didn't you hear me? 1.5 million.
Give me something. I'll sign right now.
An exclusive contract?
No, I won't go to the board with that.
Come on, gentlemen.
There's a little bit of the whore in all of us.
You will be.
MUSIC: "Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again" by The Angels
# Went down to Santa Fe
# Where Renoir paints the walls
# Described you clearly
# But the sky began to fall
# Am I ever gonna see your face again?
# Am I ever gonna see your face again?
# Am I ever gonna see your face again? #
Good evening, viewers.
Beautiful long run, well-balanced. It's short of a good length.
Arms of steel. It's through to Marsh.
The skip's keeping the pressure on. A good round of applause.
'Nott goes down the pitch for a little gardening.
'He knows this is tough.
'He's trying to adjust his eyes to the light, holding up Dennis Lillee.'
-Thought you got him in this over, Dennis.
-Next ball, I think.
'..but the crowd are loving it.
-'Steele comes forward to Lillee and he's bowled him!'
-What'd you get in this one?
-I dunno, Hoges.
Course you bloody know.
-Every cricketer knows every statistic of every game he ever played in.
-Four for 31.
Dennis, I'm not pissing in your pocket, but what you got, that's unique.
-What about Thommo?
-What about Andy Roberts?
Oh, fuck, mate. Are you gonna be my agent with Austin or what?
Well, me and Austin have to talk about it.
Oh, there's not much to talk about.
I'm lookin' after the guy.
Nine months' full-time cricket, best in the world.
Guess how much they paid him?
The bloke who pushes the sight board,
Dennis makes about the same money as him. So do the other guys.
That's bloody ridiculous. Me and Hoges can get that for two nights.
-You're getting ripped off.
-Tell me about it.
What are they doing?
They've got this great game in their hand, and these world champions.
And they've got no idea what they've got.
They should be selling stars like you.
Who's on this cricket board, anyway?
-Bunch of fucking...
Hi, guys. Don't get up.
-They gave it to me.
So how was the shoot? They're putting you on the cover, right?
Yes. What have you been up to? You said something, didn't you?
Might have had a little word to them.
-I thought you might have. What'd you say?
If I was to tell you I'd have to kill you.
Right, well it worked, smartarse.
-'Lillee to Randall!'
-Yes! Another one!
Yeah, like a quiz show.
I'm the dog, right, and the quizmaster says,
"What's on top of the house?" And I say, "Roof, roof!"
-Yeah, and question number two.
He goes, "What's on the outside of a tree?" Dog says, "Bark, bark!"
-Yeah. So he wins. What does he win?
-Something like a bone, or...
What if we did it ourselves?
Signed up Lillee, all the other guys. Put on an exhibition game.
You know, the Cream of Cricket, something like that.
And they get paid most of the gate.
Yeah, we tell the board to pay it straight to them.
Advertise it like buggery, get a big crowd in.
-What do you think?
-We gotta do it.
If there was a cricket game with all the top guys in it, would you go?
-Is David Hookes playing?
The best cricketers in Australia, all on one ground,
all at the same time.
What we need is someone with deep pockets and big balls.
-KNOCK ON DOOR
-What the fuck do you want?
-I've got an idea.
-Right, hang on. Now?
Rose. Come in here, will you?
-That should be OK.
-ROSE! GET IN HERE!
Yes, Mr Packer.
-Can you hear me on the speaker?
No. For Christ's sake, get this bloody thing working!
Oh, leave it. Come back later!
-Sorry, Mr Packer. I'll have to rewire it later.
-Yes. Get out!
What kind of idea?
How would you like some cricket on TV?
A one-day cricket match.
The best cricketers in Australia against the best in the world.
-What about the Cricket Board?
The cricketers are getting shafted, Kerry.
The board's making millions and the players get practically nothing.
-We blitz the airwaves. Make it an event on Channel 9.
-What? You can get them?
-Starting with Dennis Lillee.
I'm managing him now and he reckons the others will be up for it.
He'll do the initial contacts. Talk to the players first.
So what I've got here is a couple of fucking comedians coming to me
with a major business deal.
-Yeah. Come back tomorrow, son. I'll think.
A huge one-day carnival game at the end of the season.
So you've got Dennis Lillee.
-Can you get Ian Chappell?
-Thomson? Rod Marsh? Walters?
-Easy. Dennis will get them for us.
What about the rest of the world, you know?
-Tony Greig or Imran Khan or...
-Kerry, they're all getting screwed.
OK. We don't piss around with some exhibition match, son.
We do it properly.
We sign them all up and we... We have a competition.
Oh, but the board can't find out anything or they'll kill it.
How good are you at keeping secrets around here?
Oh, we're the best in town at that, son.
Just got a call for you from Sydney.
Austin Robertson wants you to get on a plane
-and says you've got a meeting.
Meeting with who? He was all secretive.
-What's it all about?
-No idea, Len.
What are you supposed to be, some kind of a fucking cowboy?
How is it playing for little old North Melbourne after all the heights?
-It's good. I enjoy it.
-Austin tell you what we're up to?
-Well, what do you think?
-It's probably worth a shot.
So who do you want in this team of yours?
Mine? Hang on, Kerry. I'm not captain any more.
My brother's Australian captain at the moment.
What do you think this is, son, a fucking democracy?
I'm payin' the fucking bills, you're the fucking captain. Here.
Have a look. See who else you want in this team.
-Who put this together?
Chappell, Chappell, Chappell. This a family show, is it?
Edwards, Hookes, Robinson, Brighty, McCosker, Davis.
That's good. Fot.
Hang on, where's Rowdy?
No, I'm not paying for that fucking straight breaker.
Kerry, he's good. He can bowl.
Didn't you hear me? He's not getting a contract. Nor is Gary Cosier.
Cosier's a good bat, Kerry.
Well, I have to say, it's about bloody time.
-Something like this has been coming for a while.
-No, no, no.
Not like this, son. None of the old-fashioned shit any more.
I'm stacking it with speed bowlers.
It will be a fucking revolution.
Kerry loves him but if we go anywhere near him, he'll blab.
-How do you know?
-We just can't take the chance.
He likes things done by the book
and if anyone's going to go to the board, it'll be him.
So sign all the others first.
Get them in the tent and then go for him.
-What do you reckon, Dennis?
-He's the captain. You go to him last, you'll piss him off
and he'll go to the board for sure. And they love him.
-We could have him killed.
-Why don't I just hit him with it?
-Lay it all on the line?
-No. It's too risky.
You're elite, international sportsmen
and you're getting fuck all.
John Snow, a few years back, the world's best fast bowler,
on the dole in the off-season.
Couldn't feed himself off cricket.
The 1970 tour of South Africa,
the board makes a quarter of a million bucks' profit.
The players put in for a pissy 500 bonus.
-Knocked back flat.
-Now, here's the bit.
The board can't know.
If they get a whiff of what's going on, we're dead.
You can't mention anything to them.
I know you're the captain
but this has to be totally secret for it to work.
The whole thing has to stay undercover.
MUSIC: "Let's Stick Together" by Roxy Music
# And now the marriage vow is very sacred
# The man has put us together
# Now you ought to make it stick together
# Come on, come on and stick together
# You know we made a vow
# To leave one another never... #
-Yeah, Dennis rang me about it. Who else have you got?
-What? No-one's said anything.
-Good. Don't you.
-What about my wife?
-Don't tell her either.
Centenary test next week. I'll have cheques for everyone after that.
She's going to kill me.
The arrival here in Melbourne of Her Majesty the Queen.
Willis again. Short. And he's pulled it off.
It's hit him in the face.
He's dragged it onto his wicket.
McCosker spitting out some blood.
Hookes is 40. Five for 227.
He's got that round towards fine leg and it's going to be close.
Underwood will get to it. No, he won't!
Away it goes again. Beautiful shot.
The young man on his first test is 48.
And away it goes. Could be for his 50.
Out towards the boundary, a beautiful shot. Four in a row.
Off walks England's captain.
52 to David Hookes. A brilliant performance.
This is Randall.
Good shot. Straight down the ground.
Another fine shot. Beautiful shot.
Classic cover drive.
Lillee's been brought back into the attack.
And he's someone with a great deal of fire.
Terrible looking shot, and he doffs his cap.
He hung his bat out to dry.
And that's hit him on the head and that's a bad one.
There's an appeal, there.
And an appeal for a caught, is it? He's walked.
He's gone. Randall caught by Cosier.
It's Cosier taking an absolutely brilliant catch.
And that's it! It's LBW. Alan Knott is out.
Lillee has struck again,
to finish off this Test Match.
Australia triumphant with a margin of 45 runs.
Ah, thank you, Tony. I was quietly confident.
Bullshit, mate. It was this close.
-Bacchus, well done.
-Six for 26.
-This is going to be an historic tour of England.
-Is it ever.
Excuse me, Mr Parish.
-Fot, your theatre tickets.
-Tony, can I see you for a tick?
-I got someone in Sydney wants to meet you.
-McCosker. How's it feel?
-Oh, full of drugs mate.
-Your theatre tickets, Doug.
-Oh, thanks, Ock.
-G'day, Ray. Good to see you.
-So what's that?
-Oh, it's just an invitation to something.
You're a nosy bastard, aren't you, Cosier?
Hey? Open it.
-Want another beer, big fella?
Yep, just over there.
What's going on?
As captains of your respective states,
we thought we'd get you all in here
to get a feel of the mood with the players.
Five test matches between now and the end of August,
and we all know how onerous a long tour of England can be.
So, any concerns you want to bring up?
No. Not really.
-So how are the troops? All raring to go?
-Excuse me, Mr Parish.
-Mm. Thank you.
-It's a great squad.
We're confident of a good result,
especially after that terrific result in '75.
-One bloody win?
-You kept the Ashes. That's what counts.
Any complaints, any problems,
anything anyone wants to say?
-Nothing you want to tell us?
Well, are we looking after you well enough?
You all happy, hmm?
-With the tour arrangements.
-Yeah, we're very happy.
I just want to say, we're proud of you blokes.
It's an honour to represent you, it really is.
-We're a great family.
-No doubt about that.
G'day, son. Good to see you again.
-Hi, Kerry. You remember Bruce Francis?
-We're working together.
-You were a bloody good bat, Francis.
-I see Hookesy belted you for a few.
-Rose, I've got to see Kerry.
-We've got a tax problem.
-Sorry, Mr Warner, he's busy.
You're joking. This is important. Who's he got in there?
I can't tell you that. You'll have to come back later.
-Well, this can't wait.
Oh, for God's sake!
-We talked about something like this last year.
They respect you, son. You can sign 'em up.
-You can get the South Africans and the West Indians.
And you're sworn to secrecy.
I don't care about the money, Kerry. I've got my sponsorships.
-I'm doing fine.
-Good. So sign.
I went straight from school into professional cricket, Kerry.
I've never had a job. I want one with your organisation.
Done. I'll pay you 25 grand a year.
Do we have a deal?
And a loan, to help him buy a house in Sydney.
As much as he wants. 2%. Is that it?
Is the contract with Consolidated Press?
No, it's with JP Sport. But don't worry, he'll get every penny.
Can we have your personal guarantee on that?
In writing. And I'll need a solicitor to look over it.
Where the hell did you get this bloke?
I sold the Telegraph to Murdoch in the back-seat of a taxi
for 15 million
and this idiot wants my guarantee in writing for a lousy 40 grand.
-I don't mean to be difficult...
-No, no, no, take him to the next room
and go over that with a magnifying glass if you want.
Meanwhile, I'll sit here on my fat arse
pretending to tremble whether you're going to sign or not.
And then when you're done playing big dick businessman,
get back in here and fucking sign it!
The Australian cricket team is off to England
to start start their three-month Ashes tour,
fresh from their victory over England
in the Melbourne Centenary Test.
Australia will play a rejuvenated England
under the captaincy of Tony Greig,
who has lifted the team to new heights since taking the helm.
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
In a surprise move, the Australian squad did not include Dennis Lillee.
The champion fast bowler is reported to have stress fractures
of the back and will take time off cricket for recuperation.
The Australian team will be led by Greig Chappell,
and will play three warm-up matches before the first test.
I've got someone coming in, son, and I want you there. He's important.
We're going to have to get you into a tie, son.
I don't wear ties, Kerry.
What do you mean, you don't? I just told you, he's important.
Now get a bloody tie and start looking decent for people.
When you work for me, you wear a fuckin' tie.
-I'll buy you some, how's that?
-I don't work for you, Kerry.
I make programmes for you which, incidentally, win the ratings.
-And I don't wear ties for anyone.
-Now you listen to me, Cornell.
If we're gonna work together on this fucking cricket,
you're gonna start wearing ties...
Here he is! Richie, how are you, my friend? Good to see you again.
-Good to see you again, Kerry.
-Richie, this is John Cornell.
Cornell, this is Richie Benaud. Watch out for him, Richie.
He's a smart young bloke, but not smart enough to take good advice.
-Oh, I was just telling him that when he comes to work,
he should wear a nice tie like you and me.
He's wearing my favourite outfit, actually. Nice slacks, smart jacket.
He looks fine.
Asif Iqbal, Alvin Kallicharan...
Mushtaq Mohammad, Viv Richards.
Impressive, I must say. How many do you have in total?
-Including the South Africans.
-We've got Pollock, Richards, Barlow, Procter.
-I haven't heard a word of this.
-Somehow they kept quiet.
Richie, you and Daphne, I want to sign you both as consultants.
Think of yourself as a tactician.
You know the cricket board better than anyone.
Ah, the board. This is going to be difficult.
They're very old school.
You have to start thinking like them.
Maybe you should start wearing a tie.
MUSIC: "Driver's Seat" by Sniff 'n' Tears
# Doing all right
# A little jiving on a Saturday night
# And come what may
# Gonna dance the day away... #
-Oi. Have you signed yet?
Don't worry about it, mate. It's all right.
Come on, watch the line!
-Lenny! How are you, mate?
Piss off, boys, all right?
Now the blokes need a bit of a break.
They don't want journos hanging around.
-Just got a quick question for you, Len.
After this tour, next Aussie summer, what's going on back home?
-We got India coming, you know that.
-No, some cricket carnival.
Lillee, Ian Chappell. What's all that about?
No idea, but Dennis might not be up to it by then.
-We heard he's not that injured.
-What? What cricket carnival?
-And Chappelli's retired.
-See, that's not what we heard.
He said something vague to me about the possibility of a comeback.
I've got no details. I don't know what you're talking about.
-That's what we thought.
-Let's go have a word to Bacchus, mate.
Hey, have you signed yet?
You too, huh? I don't know. What's going on?
What do you mean?
I don't know. Something.
Warner. Sit down.
This cricket thing's warming up. I want you in to manage it.
-What cricket thing?
-Don't piss around.
I know you know. Who told ya?
-Fuck that. Anyway, you're running it.
I'll up you five grand.
Stay in close contact with Richie Benaud.
He knows what he's doing.
He's written a letter to the board. We'll taxi it to them.
Cornell and I will have a press release ready to go.
-Rose, what the hell are you wearing?
-Don't you like it?
You look a sack of potatoes.
Get us some lunch, will you?
-Some hamburgers and a couple of milkshakes.
-Yes, Mr Packer.
-You blokes want anything?
-I've gotta go.
Right, I'll gird the loins. Thanks, Kerry.
You'll be cursing me before this is over, son.
-It sounds like it's a fait accompli.
-What are you, fucking educated?
I mean it's a done deal.
I know what it means, son, and it's not.
They'll be back at us.
The question is, what have they got to fight with?
History. A hundred years of it.
-All the best.
-You too, mate.
OK, we'll bat.
-Gentlemen, all the best.
-All the best.
Don't know if you'll be batting anytime soon.
Ah, just means the party starts early. All you guys coming?
-Oh, yes. You bet.
# Hey, senorita
# Why don't you let me take you home?
# Oh, little girl
# Why don't you let me take you home... #
-What have you got?
-Nothing new. But they're all half pissed.
We just keep at them.
Look, I heard it's not going to be a one-off.
-They want to play a whole season.
-Who told you that?
It doesn't make any sense. They'll be busy playing Tests against India.
-No, I think they're jumping. They're leaving Test cricket.
-Have you seen Tony Greig?
-No, not for a bit.
-Mate, we know it's on.
-Come on, what have you got?
Something. Anything. We won't quote ya.
No, no-one'll be quoting anyone.
Oh, that went well.
-Glad to see the Downunder Fourth Estate represented.
So tell me, you haven't got a sniff of piracy in the ranks, have you?
Piracy? What do you mean?
-Excuse me. Good to see you.
Oh, mate. They've got something.
Shit, we've got to bust it tonight or they'll scoop us.
-There he is. Hang on, I'll grab him.
-Enjoying the party?
-Should be more of it, I reckon.
Mate, let me put something to you.
A professional troupe of cricketers,
put together by say some cricket promoter,
and they play outside the official sanctioned games for a lot of money.
-What do you think?
-It sounds interesting.
-Would you sign up for it?
-I'd have to find out more about it first.
And if you did, would you sign up for it?
-Well, like I said.
-Put you down as a yes?
Enjoy the party, Peter.
-No worries. I want to ask you something.
-Kerry Packer. How well do you know him?
-I don't. I haven't met him yet.
-Yet? What do you mean?
-Oh, he wants to meet all the players.
-Just being friendly.
He's paying them enough.
Yeah. What'd you get?
I'm not telling you that.
-What did Ian Chappell get?
-Oh, mate. A lot more than me.
How many others signed?
-Are we off? OK. Nice to meet you.
-Peter! What's going on?
Great party, mate. Got to go. Got to go.
Get onto Doug Insole or Tagge Webster, quick. We need a comment.
We should get in contact with the Australian Cricket Board as well.
No, deal with our board first. We'll worry about the Australians later.
Yes! Peter McFarlane. Copy? Quick.
McFarlane. Yep, ready?
Hove, May eight.
Australian television magnate Kerry Packer
is bidding to set up a troupe of the world's, pos S, best cricketers
to play matches specifically for television.
Alan Sheill. Put me through to copy, will you?
Stop. New par.
Most of Australia's, pos S, current Test team has been approached
to join the troupe, comma...
-OK. London, Sunday.
Sir Douglas Frank Hewson Packer. Media proprietor. He's knighted.
Born 1906. Hang on, he's got to be younger than that.
-No, it's a Kerry.
-He's not even here.
Anyway, Sir Frank's dead. I remember we ran something.
Ah, hold on. Sons Clyde, born 1935, and Kerry, bingo!
-That's got to be him.
-He's a bloody nobody.
I'll ring Insole first. This'll be terrific.
They'll tear this bloke apart.
Victorian Cricket Association. Yes, I'll just put you through.
-It's Mr Steele.
-Yeah, yeah? Yeah, I just saw it.
Victorian Cricket Association.
Oh, that bastard. At least he could have let us know.
Yes, sir. I'll put you through right away.
No, of course not. Impossible.
It's Sir Donald.
Mr Packer, is it true you've signed 20 cricketers to your rebel group?
We've signed exactly 35.
We'll be signing more in the future, possibly.
ALL: Mr Packer! Mr Packer!
Mr Packer, you collected most of your players in secret.
Does that mean you don't intend to cooperate or work
with the cricket authorities?
I've done all I can to cooperate with the Australian Cricket Board.
I was willing to pay big money to cover cricket
but they blocked me at every turn.
So now...we're doing our own thing.
Well, what does that mean, exactly? Are you declaring a cricket war?
Well, if this is a war,
it's been brought on by the cricket authorities, not by me.
-ALL: Mr Packer. Mr Packer! Mr Packer!
-McFarlane at the Age.
Mr Packer, have you read the latest comments by the Chairman
of the Australian Cricket Board, Bob Parish?
-Yes, I'm aware of what he said.
Yes. Mr Parish doesn't like me, and I'm not mad about Parish.
-ALL: Mr Packer, Mr Packer.
Will you continue to operate in secret,
and how will this impact Test cricket?
Well, if the cricket boards cooperate,
there's no reason why Test cricket will be affected at all.
If they don't cooperate, they'll walk straight into a meat mangler.
ALL: Mr Packer!
Mr Greig. Mr Greig, as Captain of the England cricket team,
you recruited many of Mr Packer's players.
Do you feel like a traitor to English cricket?
Not at all. The players were all happy to sign up.
Eager to. What I've tried to do
is help provide some security for my fellow players.
Now, I'm sure that all this can be sorted out and World Series Cricket
and Test cricket can exist happily side by side.
ALL: Mr Packer! Mr Packer!
Mr Packer, how many cricket games do you intend to
schedule in the Australian summer?
-Don't answer that.
-We're not sure at the moment.
There'll be a number of Test matches followed by a series
-of one-day games.
-Hang on, the Test matches.
Surely they're not Test matches. I mean, they are games of cricket...
Call 'em what you want
but they'll be played by the best Test players in the world.
-Who on earth is that?
-The pushy little blonde chap.
-I have no idea.
I've never seen him before. Is he an administrator?
His name's John Cornell.
Where's he from?
Austin, it's Gavin. Sure, no problem.
Yep, good. Joel Garner. Got him.
Yes. Wait a tick.
Here he is.
You boys are working overtime!
Yes, I'm on a plane this afternoon.
I'll see you the day after tomorrow.
I want to meet with Tony Greig. Yep. Bye.
-There you go. How many is that now?
"And trampling on the sacred traditions of the game.
"This money-hungry mercenary, aided by English cricket traitor
"Tony Greig, is holding the game to ransom.
-"This cricket circus will never be..."
"..will never be able to match Test Cricket in any way.
"The English cricket establishment is almost certain
"to move to sabotage Mr Packer's ill-thought-out sporting venture.
"As the supreme body for international cricket,
"the ICC has the ability to..."
-Bullshit, bullshit, bullshit.
-It's true, though.
-What's that one?
-Just more crap.
"The power behind this cowardly sneak attack on cricket
"is Mr Kerry Packer, an overweight Australian blimp who not only
"looks like a hammerhead shark but acts like one.
"With not even a nod to the fine traditions of the game,
"this lumbering philistine has used his millions to destroy..."
-They don't hold back, do they?
-Bugger 'em, Kerry.
-We just stick with it. We're going OK.
-Is that right?
We got a bunch of fucking players, no itinerary,
no marketing plan and no complete management structure.
We've got no fucking grounds to play on. Where's Warner?
He'll be here tomorrow.
You know, we, ah, still might be able to talk to these boards.
Benaud reckons I should.
I don't see how, after that press conference.
Well, I've written letters to the Australian board and the ICC,
you know, to try and talk peace to them.
Well, I've gotta give it a shot.
How much is it, mate?
-You an Aussie, then?
-Yeah, that's right.
Yeah, no charge for you, lad. Enjoy the cricket.
-Well, thank you. Thanks a lot.
I just wanted to meet you and talk over a few things.
-Bu t don't worry, it can wait till later.
I know you're pretty busy right now.
Oh, no, no, no, it's fine.
I heard they sacked you as England captain this morning.
Well, I kind of expected it.
-At least you're still playing for England.
-Yeah. And Sussex.
I like this cricket. Well, gotta go.
-I'll meet you back at the hotel.
-You the lad talking to fucking Tony Greig, were you?
-Yes, I was.
-Friend of yours, is he?
-Well, not really.
Yeah, he's a fucking traitor.
-You know that Aussie, Packer?
-I work for him.
Do ya? Ten quid.
You're kidding. I was only here 20 minutes.
Ten fucking quid, come on.
And you can tell your mate Tony fucking Greig
he'll be charged double next time he turns up.
Now fuck off.
How does that apply to you, first of all, Robin?
Do you feel that this whole incident
is the way that Kerry's described it?
That it shows Tony Greig as a man of honour?
No, I don't. I think he's a fool.
But David, I want to talk about Mr Packer.
This man does not know how to behave.
For instance, he has made Tony Greig do a dishonest thing.
Our life, of which cricket is a part, is made up of behaviour,
and how you behave is how you're judged.
What Tony Greig has done is totally unforgiveable.
You see, I don't understand that, you see. I don't.
No, you don't, you see. That's just the trouble with you.
-He's confident, eh?
-Who's that other guy?
This man's intervention is absolutely tearing the guts out of cricket.
I fail to see in any way how Mr Packer's intervention
is welcome to our cricket here.
Whether it's welcome here or not, there are 35 players
to start with who want to be in it, and they are the judges.
These people have given long service to cricket
and I believe they're entitled to make a decent living out of it.
APPLAUSE No, I'm sorry.
I'm sorry to hear people clapping
because that is the man that does not care about our Test cricket.
This is about the boards.
What I fail to understand is their blind reluctance
to be informed about what I'm doing so they can make a balanced decision.
Why not talk to me while I'm here?
Because maybe they don't like your attitude. How about that?
-Well, I think that's highly likely.
David, we still haven't got across the point,
if this circus comes along to take the cream off...
It's arrived, boss.
It has not arrived. He's arrived.
That is a nonsense statement.
The players have signed up. They're there.
They'll be in Australia in November and playing in the Supertests.
Now don't pretend they haven't arrived.
-Do you think the Supertests should go on?
-Or should they be stopped?
-AUDIENCE: No! No!
Well, that seems to be the vote. We'll leave it there.
So, who did the selecting, anyway?
Did Packer choose everyone, did he?
Oh, it's done, mate. Leave it alone.
You and me, we're good enough to play for Australia but not for him, is that it?
Oh, g'day, you blokes. Handsome fellas.
-What's going on? We're gonna get something to eat.
-You coming in?
G'day, Lizzy, darling. How are you?
Can we just get a couple of jugs?
-You coming, Cose?
-Oh, I'll see you in there.
In sport, the International Cricket Conference
is to meet in London this week.
The ICC chairman, Tagge Webster,
has convened a special meeting of the world's cricket authorities
to combat the latest threat to the sport.
The ICC yesterday issued a communique declaring it as,
"The sole promoter of international cricket",
following the news that 49 of the world's leading players
have signed to a rebel group.
I got a charming letter from Packer today.
He wants to meet up while we're here and work something out.
-Great. Let's do it.
-I also had a call from the Don.
-He said no compromise.
Let's get stuck right into this bloke.
That'd be right. So what'd you say to Packer?
What could I say? I told him to bugger off.
-The Don should be here.
-No, he's much too smart for that.
Players from England, Australia, the West Indies and Pakistan.
In Kingston, Sir Garfield Sobers has announced
he is to act as a consultant to the rebel group.
In other news,
Tommy Docherty has stood down as manager of Manchester United.
Docherty, who led the club to its recent 2-1 win
against Liverpool in the FA Cup final, has cited personal...
-Mr Packer. Are you enjoying London?
Well, I would have enjoyed it more if you hadn't kept me here twiddling my thumbs for a week.
So, Mr Packer, would you like to outline your proposals for us?
No, I wouldn't. I'm not here to put proposals.
I'm here to see if we can work out some sort of a compromise.
-And what would that entail?
-Do you know what a compromise is?
Please Mr Packer, I feel...
It's when two people get together to work out a deal.
Both sides give a bit and they reach an agreement.
I'm here looking for a compromise.
-Good. Then let's start, shall we?
-I'd appreciate it.
One, no player will participate in privately-promoted matches
unless given specific permission from local authorities.
Two, no privately-promoted 11
can be represented as a national team.
Three, players taking part in privately-promoted matches
are to be made available for official matches if there is no clash.
Four, no cricket series run by a private promoter
will run for longer than six weeks.
And five, any and all privately-promoted programmes
will be under total control of the local cricket authorities.
I can compromise on those points.
-How about if we set up a working committee?
-Excellent. Let's do that.
Look, you lot can have all my players, all 49 of them.
The boards can run the games and we can all get on with playing cricket.
But you will agree
there'll be no more victimising of the players I've signed.
Tony Greig being stripped of the England captaincy, for example.
No more of that.
And I get exclusive right to televise Australian Test cricket
when the present arrangement expires.
Tell you what, gentlemen. Why don't you have a think about it?
We'll take a bit of a look around outside.
Oh, it's beautiful, isn't it?
I was here with my father and Clyde.
I missed seeing you play back in '61.
Kerry, we need to think about what we're doing.
No, I saw you take five for 13 at Old Trafford.
We need to think fast about who we put on this working committee.
Oh, there's something magic about it.
This is the heart.
It's not just a game.
Kerry, did you hear what I said?
My father didn't love much in his life.
He liked boats, he liked horses...
..but he loved cricket.
-What do you reckon?
Do you think they bought it?
Course they have. I've offered them a fucking gift.
It is the unanimous view of all member countries
of the International Cricket Council...
..that they cannot give any commitment
to exclusive television rights.
Do you agree to that?
But I am willing to keep discussions open.
No, that's not acceptable.
Had I gotten those TV rights I was willing to withdraw from the scene
and leave the running of cricket to the board.
I'll take no steps now to help anyone.
It's every man for himself and the devil take the hindmost.
It's war, Douglas.
We'll have to stop this before it gets off the ground.
-Divide and conquer.
We'll drive a wedge between this man and his players.
And we use our best weapon, cricket.
And we'll bring the lawyers in. Our lawyers.
It's such a pity. He doesn't understand what he's doing.
He's impressive, Tagge.
No, he's not. He's a barbarian.
He doesn't realise this is not just a game.
It's something more than that.
-Oh, Mr Packer, David Hill's arrived.
-Warner tells me you're a fucking hotshot. That right?
-I've seen your Sportsnight programme
and I want you doing that here, at nine.
Did he fill you in on the cricket?
Yes, he did. It sounds very exciting.
-Good. Rose, get us some food in here, will you?
-Yes, Mr Packer.
You're not at the ABC now, son.
So I want you to start thinking of better ways of filming these games.
I'm sick of looking at the back of batsmen's arses, for one thing.
-Rose, not food. A salad. With meat.
-Yes, Mr Packer.
-Yes, Mr Packer.
And what about directors? You got them yet?
I've approached John Crilly and Brian Morelli.
They're both very keen to come on board.
Yeah, well I've never fucking heard of them.
But if you think they're good, get 'em.
Welcome aboard, son.
-How far out of fucking town are we?
What do you think?
It's not bad, apart from the fact we're in the middle of buggery.
Jesus, look at that mess.
How are those wickets going?
Well, they've started growing at least.
We only play English times.
Hot places like us and India
playing cricket in 110 degree heat, middle of the day.
-It's bloody madness.
-That's true, son.
England runs cricket. Why? Why keep following old English traditions?
We should do it our own bloody way.
Limited over one-dayers. We play them at night. Bang!
Yes, but a night game would finish too late.
We'd have to do half day, half night. You want a drink?
We start in the afternoon when kids finish school and later,
just switch the lights on. Finish at ten.
Yes, that'll fucking work, son. You know why?
Women and kids will come.
We've only got one ground with lights.
-Yeah, we'll get more.
OK. ABC, the BBC with a single camera here. This is where they shoot from.
Kerry reckons he's sick of looking at batsmen's arses.
-So he said.
-Aren't we all.
Right, so here's our base point, yeah?
Set camera one here, camera two over there, camera three
on the opposite side over there, camera four up the other end.
We get stumpings, run outs, the lot.
-What do you think, John?
-Yeah. Yeah, good.
-How's it look?
-It's gonna be tops.
-Five? I thought you said four.
-No, five's better.
-And Colin, we've got this great idea.
-Sound. Record 'em at the wicket.
You can hear the whole bloody thing.
OK, get the guys to sound off one at a time.
RADIO: Clear. Clear. Clear. Looking good.
-OK, all good.
-Right. Wicket mics.
How's that for you, Brian?
-RADIO: Clear as a bell.
Er, what if it rains?
-What's moisture going to do to them?
-Yeah, it'll kill it.
Well we can't put a roof over the bloody thing.
-RADIO: Hey, Warren!
Well, it's definitely sticking up more now.
-That feels much better.
And it'll save problems later. THEY LAUGH
You, erm, getting this, Brian?
RADIO: Oh, I'm feeling it mate.
They're growing better than we thought. They'll be great pitches.
That's good work, John.
-How do you get them in place?
-Ah, we haven't worked that out yet.
Well, if they weigh 25 tonnes it might be a good fucking idea.
Well, the problem is getting them into the centre of the oval without damaging the outfield.
We can't just drag them out there with a tractor.
-So, what's the plan?
-We're thinking maybe a hovercraft.
-Oh, it might be possible.
Jesus Christ, who thought that one up?
Look, I don't care if you use flying fucking saucers.
I want to be able to bowl a ball on these things by October.
Notwithstanding anything herein before contained,
the International Cricket Conference,
determined to oppose to the maximum extent
the series of exhibition matches arranged to take place
in the forthcoming Australian summer, has resolved unanimously -
one, that these matches will not be rated as first class matches
and will not appear in the official record.
Two, on October 1st this year,
any player still signed with a private promoter
will be deemed a disapproved person.
Three, any match arranged by Mr Kerry Packer
or Mr Richie Benaud or associated companies will be disapproved.
Four, all players who sign with a private promoter
will face a total ban from Test and domestic cricket,
such ban to be applied by local authorities. Thank you.
Banned! That's it! We see them in court.
And we schedule the Supertest
the same fucking day as the board's Tests.
From now on, no matter what, no-one's available to play for them.
No-one! I'll show those bastards what a ban is, see how they cope.
-Oh, Mr Packer. Jeff Thomson's agent rang.
-Yeah, I'll bet he did.
-He's gone, Kerry. And it gets worse.
Alvin Kallicharran and Viv Richards are pulling out as well.
OK, we sue 'em! I'll chase those pricks through every court there is!
It might not be a good idea. I think softly, softly might be a better approach, Kerry.
Richie? Fuck 'em! I'll leave 'em barefoot and bankrupt.
And as for this agent, this David Lord bastard.
Have you heard this? Listen to this shit.
You fucking read it!
"This will be the beginning of an exodus from the Packer circus."
Packer fucking circus again!
"The players had followed each other like sheep,
"but now they've had an attack of brains."
-I'm going after him too.
I'm going back to London.
Try and arrange having a go at them in court.
You're coming with me. You too, Chappelli.
ROSE! What is this shit?
It's your usual. It's your chicken...
Get me some fucking pies or something, will ya?
And you, what are you doing about those pitches?
-The Sydney Cricket...
-What are you fucking doing?
-I'm giving the board a shot. I'm hopeful.
-What fucking good is that? I want that ground.
What about umpires? You got any of them yet?
Do your fucking job, why don't you?
Yeah, we knew they'd come at us. Kerry certainly did.
Well, what's he gonna do about it?
Well, we just have to trust him, that he knows what he's doing.
No-one knows what they're doing. That's the point.
No-one thought we'd get banned.
"Disapproved persons." What is this, the 19th century?
But Thommo, you're fully approved though, aren't you, mate?
-You can keep playing. Bloody good for you.
-Guys, I had to.
I've got a contract for 4IP in Brissie.
-You had that before you bloody signed.
-Yeah, I know.
And now things have gotten messy. They can sue me if I don't pull out.
There's blokes running to their lawyers all over town.
You can't blame them. I never thought I'd get banned from playing Tests.
-That's why I got into cricket.
-Mate, we all did.
Kerry didn't think it through. That's his problem. Now we're all buggered.
Hey, you're getting paid a lot of money, Hookesy.
-Bugger the money.
-Yep, he can stick his money.
-Having fun, Kerro?
Are you sure you want to do this?
Now's the time to pull the plug if you have any doubts.
I'm gonna get these bastards, Harry.
Well, you might be feeling that way, but I'm your Deputy Chairman and I have a corporation to run.
I can't afford all of this.
You've no set budget,
you've no corporate direction
and you've spent several million dollars.
-Now's the time to rein it in.
And you've got Gavin Warner running the show.
Do you think he's up to it?
-You've got nowhere decent to play.
You've missed out on the Gabba
and now there's this negative announcement
from the Sydney Cricket Ground Trust. Have you seen it?
There's more crusty old men sitting behind closed doors, Harry.
But they've got the high ground and you haven't.
I've got VFL Park.
A lot of good that'll do you.
These cricketers of yours that they've banned...
..you realise it's just the first shot.
They'll keep coming at you.
Ask yourself, is all of this worth it?
No. No, we hit this International Cricket Conference
-with everything we've got.
-That'll take a bit of time.
I'll get a QC and stick it into the High Court.
If they want to bowl bouncers we'll fight the way they want.
-It turns out Viv's not going after all.
But we've got to go after Thomson and Kallicharran, Kerry.
Plus in Adelaide, The Don's got his claws into Hookesy.
We'd better move on him, too.
Ah, let 'em go. We don't want blokes who don't want to play.
We have to be able to trust them at their word.
You can't force someone to stick to their word, son.
If they don't, there's nothing to do, except never forget it.
It's getting harder.
Yeah, it is.
This first game at VFL Park is haunting me.
I'm sorry about all this money going out the door.
The money doesn't matter, son. It's what comes at you.
My father, he always used to say, "Don't expect to be liked."
But it is hard to cop sometimes.
-Anyway, my father used to stay in this suite.
-This same one?
Yeah, me and Clyde'd watch Mother
and Father dancing downstairs in the ballroom.
She was a beautiful dancer.
I always admired that. I never did learn to dance myself.
I'll teach you to dance, Kerry.
Ah, you have a dance with golden boy over there
and just let me sit in my misery.
Up you get. Come on.
There we go.
I can hear my bones creaking.
All right, so...
Strong grip. And relax.
Follow my feet. Move forward.
And now let's go to the side...now your way...
..and side again.
That's it, and again.
Kerry, you're a natural.
-How are you today? This is Mr Tony Greig.
-Yes, we know.
-We're members of the MCC.
So Mr Packer, it's our understanding the ICC is proposing a ban
on some cricket players and you are seeking a writ to restrain them
from this course of action.
Correct. So, who's the best QC in town?
I'm sorry, Mr Packer, it doesn't quite work like that.
Well, you tell me, then. How does it fucking work?
There are a good many fine silks in London, as you can imagine.
I can. So, who's the best?
Mr Packer, there is no best.
Things might be different in Australia,
but the English legal fraternity
has a large number of quite outstanding barristers...
Are you listening? Did you not understand the fucking question?
Mr Packer, you will understandably want to expedite your matter.
Any silk of the stature you're after will be booked for months.
-And there's the question of fees.
These men can command very substantial sums of money.
Thank you for that interesting walk through the Black Forest, gentlemen.
Mr Greig and I are going to go out and have an enjoyable round of golf.
So we will go and do that and when we get back,
you lot have a name ready for me. How about that?
You see, I know how this works. I've done it before.
You give me the name of the top bloke, I call him,
I offer him more fucking money than anybody else,
he drops everything and comes to work for me.
-We recommend Robert Alexander.
He's an absolutely remarkable silk. But he's prohibitively busy.
-Good. I'll have him.
-This could be difficult.
Look, if you can't do it, give me his fucking number. I'll do it.
We'll arrange it for you.
That didn't take too fucking long, did it?
Now, who's your second best?
Do we really need both of them?
Listen, son, if I'm trying to back the winner at Wimbledon
I'd rather have my money on the top seeds.
Tell Chappelli to get the fellas up to my room.
I want to have a chat.
I want to thank you for selecting me
but I'm sorry, Kerry, I have to resign.
There's a whole "Keep Hookesy At Home" thing in Adelaide,
and I feel as though I owe these people my allegiance.
I feel as though I owe these people...
I feel as though have an obligation to these people.
And besides, I've already got a really good job in Adelaide.
Yeah? All right, I'm coming.
I want to thank you, Kerry, but I have to resign.
I have an obligation to Adelaide. I'm sorry.
You met him before?
-Have you met him before?
-No, this is my first time.
-No, you don't look it.
-Piss off, Bacchus.
KNOCKS ON DOOR
-KNOCK ON DOOR
-Hookesy. Hey, you in there?
Welcome to London.
I want to thank you all for joining us on this venture.
Now, if Thomson and Kallicharran piss off, that's fine.
We're not going to chase them. We'll let them go.
And as for the rest of us, this ban on us,
the only thing we have to fall back on is our loyalty,
our obligation to each other.
And if we stick together, keep our eye on the ball,
people will come to understand what it is we're doing.
Now, we've got this all-important first game at VFL Park coming up,
and I want to tell you something.
It will be a smash.
People will come to see you
because you are the best.
So anyone else having second thoughts?
What about you, Dougie? Sure you're in?
Oh, I'm in, Kerry.
-Yeah, I'm in, Kerry.
-No worries, Kerry.
-Can't wait, Kerry.
-The other Kerry, Mr O'Keeffe.
-I'll be there.
Excellent. Mr Davis?
Yes, I'm in, Kerry.
-Gee, he's good.
-Mr Lenny Pascoe?
Great. What about you, David?
Um, Mr Packer...
-I want to thank you for selecting me...
I didn't select you, son. Chappelli did. Thank him.
Right. Um, I want to thank you for selecting me...
You already fucking did that. Are you in or what?
-I got a good job in Adelaide.
-At a tyre fitting depot...
-A tyre depot?
I'll tell you what, son.
I'll buy the fucking place, then I'll be your boss
and you can play cricket any time you want.
How about that? You in?
-Good, welcome aboard.
Tangles, what the fuck are you doing here?
I don't remember signing you up. All right!
-Charge your glasses.
-You don't drink, Kerry.
No, I'm going to make an exception in your case, Chappelli.
To the best cricketers in the world...
..playing the best cricket in the world,
with the best fucking boss in the world!
To World Series Cricket!
ALL: To World Series Cricket!
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
As we discussed on Tuesday, a locally-produced Playboy magazine
would fill the niche identified by J...J. Walter Thompson.
You want to take off, Rosie?
You weren't listening, Kerro. We're now haemorrhaging money.
-It's not good business.
-It will be.
Stop it. Stop it now.
We'll take the hit on six million.
Yes, you can.
You lose this court case, you'll be going out backwards.
Well, I've come this far, Harry. I can't go back now.
Who are you, Macbeth?
-Of course you can.
-These blokes are relying on me.
And I've said before, I can't abandon them now.
Kerro, you've changed cricket.
They're being offered all sorts of money from their boards.
The game'll never look back.
-This game you've got at VFL Park...
-It'll work, Harry. You'll see.
It has to.
Here we go, son. This is it.
What do you reckon? 10,000? 20,000?
-I wouldn't put a figure on it.
-Why not? Your ads are fucking great.
-Warner reckons more than 20.
-Kerry, the place holds nearly 80.
Don't get ahead of yourself, son.
My money's on 15,000. How much do you wanna bet?
How am I going to match you on a bet?
Bet you five grand. How's that?
-You're a fucking piker, son.
It's starting. Here they come.
Kerry. Just got a call from London.
The court case.
-He's due to give his judgement Tuesday night our time.
I don't need to tell you what an historic day this is.
What an historic cricket match this is about to be.
I've given everything I have to cricket.
And now I find myself a disapproved person,
apparently excluded from my life's work.
Everyone in this room is disapproved.
But not for long.
The game is bigger than those who are trying to strangle it.
And today, here in this arena...
..we begin the process of proving them wrong.
They said it couldn't be done.
Now we're doing it.
It's time to show all those bastards out there having a go at us
what we can do.
The rest of the world's out there waiting for us, gentlemen.
I don't mean Greigy's team, I mean the rest of the world.
The crowd that believe in cricket.
The hundreds of thousands of people out there in the world,
just waiting to see how we go.
So let's show 'em.
-Come on, boys!
You can bat, Chappelli.
And opening the batting for Australia,
Ian Davis and Rick McCosker.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
Two-part fact-based drama centred around Australian media mogul Kerry Packer, who fought a cricket war by signing up 50 of the world's greatest players to form a breakaway tournament.
In 1976, infuriated that ABC had been given the TV broadcasting rights by the Australian Cricket Board without his own Channel 9 being given the chance to bid, Packer is delighted when John Cornell, one of his producers, comes to him with a rough idea about setting up a rival tournament. Amongst great secrecy, Packer and Cornell start signing up some of the best players in Australia, but soon find themselves at war with the established game.