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Howzat! Kerry Packer's War

Updated on June 23, 2013

The Story of World Series Cricket

Itâs not often I buy the DVD of a miniseries Iâve already seen on TV, and I canât even claim to be a cricket fan. However, when I watched Howzat! Kerry Packerâs War I enjoyed it so much that I wanted to watch it again and share it with others.

It is the story of how Packer set up World Series Cricket in Australia during the 1970âs and took on the established Ashes series. The story itself was not my main interest, but the character of Packer himself. Although he passed away in 2005 he had long been one of Australiaâs most influential people. As an Australian I had seen him many times on the news - always a strong yet controversial figure. In watching the mini series I immediately thought they could have found an actor that looked more like him or who could have been made to look more like him with make-up effects. Very quickly I realized that although Lachy Hulme had only a superficial resemblance to Packer he had mastered his mannerisms and demeanor and really played him well.

Image credit: Howzat! Kerry Packer's War - 2-Disc Set [ Blu-Ray, Reg.A/B/C Import - Australia ]

Howzat! Kerry Packer's War: Extended Preview

This is the short preview used to promote the series on Australian television in August 2012.

Howzat! DVDs, Blu-rays and Soundtrack on Amazon

Howzat! Kerry Packer's War
Howzat! Kerry Packer's War

The soundtrack has some great Australian music from the era.

1. Sherbet - Howzat

2. Hush - Bony Moronie

3. The Angels - Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again

4. Flash & The Pan - Hey St Peter

5. Dragon - April Sun In Cuba (2006 Remaster)

6. The Angels - Take Me Home

7. John Paul Young - Keep On Smilin'

8. The Ethiopians - Solid As A Rock

9. Air Supply - Love And Other Bruises (Album Version)

10. Diana Trask - Oh Boy (1981 Version)

11. Stephen Rae - Packer's Walk

12. Stephen Rae - The Story Breaks

13. Stephen Rae - Closing Titles

14. Mojo Singers - C'mon Aussie C'mon (Original Mix)

 

What's it about?

Howzat! Kerry Packer's War is the story of how the media mogul saw a business opportunity in the sport he loved and started a cricket war. He saw the opportunity to market the game via his television station and secretly signed up 50 of the best players in the world to play matches under Test and one-day conditions. The creation of his World Series Cricket threw the cricket world into turmoil and set Packer against long-standing bodies like the Australian Cricket Board.

His cricket was new and different. He paid his players well, he introduced night cricket, playing under lights, the TV broadcast was filmed from more than one angle and there was the introduction of new audio equipment where you could hear the batsmen at the stumps. The playing at night had its own problems and the traditional red ball had to be replaced with a white one. He introduced colourful cricket gear and protective headgear.

One of my favourite moments is when Packer has made an agreement with a local council that the cricket ground lights would be switched off by a certain time and it is clear the game will go past then. In a great example of lateral thinking he orders people into the clock tower to hold onto the clock hands and slow it down so that he doesn't break his agreement!

Books on Amazon

Howzat!: Kerry Packer and the Great Cricket War
Howzat!: Kerry Packer and the Great Cricket War

You can pre-order this book released 25 June 2013. It is the story of the mini-series by the guy who wrote the script.

 
Howzat!: Kerry Packer's War
Howzat!: Kerry Packer's War

This is also available on kindle.

 
Who Killed Channel 9?
Who Killed Channel 9?

Read more about Kerry Packer and his media empire.

 
Who Wants to Be a Billionaire?: The James Packer Story
Who Wants to Be a Billionaire?: The James Packer Story

This is about James Packer, Kerry's son, born into a muli-million dollar business.

 
The Rise and Rise of Kerry Packer
The Rise and Rise of Kerry Packer

Packer was a fascinatng and fearless businessman. This book is becoming hard to find and is an intriguing read.

 

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