A suburban cricket team travels into the heart of India in the film Save Your Legs!.Save Your Legs! actor Brendan Cowell says spotting games of cricket in India is like finding churches in Adelaide – they’re everywhere.
Which is a good thing too, according to co-star Stephen Curry, seeing as cricket is “practically a religion over there”.
The two Aussies discovered this during a five-week trip to India to film Save Your Legs!, about a D-grade Australian cricket team named the Abbotsford Anglers, who find themselves on tour there.
Despite the fact the film required the actors to spend a lot of time playing cricket, a surprising amount of matches still took place between takes.
“It’s like Adelaide and churches,” Cowell said.
“You look anywhere in India there is a game of cricket taking place, with whatever kind of questionable equipment they may have to make a bat or a ball.”
Cowell said people just come flooding out to play.
“Everyone wants to bowl at an Australian, because they think if they get us out, they got Ricky Ponting out,” he said.
Cowell describes himself as a cricket “nut”, who first picked up a bat at five and has been a member of the Sydney Cricket Ground since he was 14.
So it was understandable that during the 2007 Sundance Film Festival, Cowell tuned in to watch The Ashes on producer Nick Batzias’ computer.
Batzias sent Cowell a copy of the documentary, Save Your Legs!, by Boyd Hicklin (who went on to direct the feature film) and the screenwriter immediately saw the potential the Abbotsford Anglers’ story had for a movie.
“I just like the sense of humour of the team and that their priorities were more the gourmet lunches, the banter and the immaculate uniforms – their actual athleticism was quite pathetic,” he said.
“That’s why we cast Steve Curry as the president, but also his last name’s Curry.”
The Castle actor cut in, adding that “wasn’t lost on a lot of the Indians”.
The main characters are the cricket-obsessed Ted (Curry), overconfident Stav (Damon Gameau) and wild-man Rick (Cowell).
The filmmakers wanted Save Your Legs! to be the kind of movie that you could watch regardless of whether or not you’re a cricket fan.
“I guess like they’d see a movie like Dodgeball,” Cowell said.
“And also I think cricket is a ridiculous enough game to those who don’t understand … it and we’ve tried to represent that side.”
One of the ways that was achieved was through the Abbotsford team uniforms – striped jackets often accompanied by the phrase “uniforms open doors”.
“As you know uniforms open doors,” Curry said, right on cue.
“And they also turn heads, [especially] when you’re in Angler blue and canary yellow.”
Cowell said the film could be valuable to women as an indication of what goes on behind closed doors.
“They could gain some insight into what men talk about on tour, like I guess we did when Stephen watched all the series of Sex and the City.”
Save Your Legs! opens today.
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