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Cricket films win Grierson Awards

Cricket documentaries ‘Storyville: Afghan Cricket Club - Out of the Ashes’ and ‘Fire in Babylon’, have both won a coveted 2011 Grierson Award.

In a great night for cricket documentaries at the British Film Institute in London ‘Out of the Ashes’ won the Best Newcomer award with ‘Fire in Babylon (opens in a new window)’, coming away with the Best Historical Documentary trophy.

MCC was able to financially assist in the production of the ‘Out of the Ashes’ documentary as part of the Club's continued work in Afghanistan cricket.

Against a backdrop of war and poverty, the documentary traces the extraordinary journey of a team of young Afghan cricketers.

It follows the squad over two years as they go from playing in their shalwar-kameezes on rubble pitches to battling their way around the globe and towards qualification for the ICC World Twenty20 in 2010.

Fire in Babylon meanwhile, directed by Stevan Riley, is a retrospective on the great West Indies sides of the 1970s and 1980s.

The film received widespread praise from critics and fans alike after its debut in 2010.

Copies of Fire in Babylon - exclusively signed by Colin Croft - are available to buy from the Lord's Shop today.

MCC in Afghanistan

The MCC-Afghanistan relationship began with a historic fixture between the two sides in Mumbai in March 2006 where an MCC team, led by former England captain Mike Gatting, were thrashed by 179 runs.

Since then Matthew Fleming, the former Kent and England all-rounder, has travelled to Afghanistan on several occasions working with the charity Afghan Connection to encourage Afghan boys and girls to play cricket.

The Club has also invested in talented players already staring in the national team.

Mahammad Nabi and Hamid Hassan were chosen after MCC's first encounter with Afghanistan to spend time with the MCC Young Cricketers scheme at Lord's in the summer of 2007.

Since then both players have continued their involvement with the Club, with Hassan starring in MCC's victory over Nottinghamshire in the Champion County match earlier in 2011.

The Grierson Awards commemorate the pioneering Scottish documentary filmmaker John Grierson (1898 – 1972), famous for Drifters and Night Mail and the man widely regarded as the father of the documentary.

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