The Nine Network announced today it has commissioned a mini-series about Kerry Packer’s World Series Cricket revolution.
In conjunction with Southern Star, the team behind the critically acclaimed mini-series Paper Giants, Nine will produce the two-part mini-series with production to commence in 2012.
Produced by John Edwards, the series will follow Kerry Packer’s extraordinary rise to become the most influential businessman in the history of Australian sport.
The mini-series tells how a young Kerry Packer took on the cricket establishment to set up a rebel competition with the world’s best players, who abandoned their loyalty to their national teams to join the breakaway competition. It will recount Packer’s court battles to get World Series Cricket up and running, the secret player signings, and the way he got around the ban on using Australia’s hallowed Test arenas.
Despite poor crowds and low television ratings at first, a brave new world of sports broadcasting had begun, ushering in the era of one-day cricket played under lights.
Day-night cricket was Packer’s masterstroke and the war swung dramatically in his favour on November 28, 1978, when the first day-night match on a traditional cricket ground was played at the SCG between the WSC Australian and West Indian teams to a near-capacity crowd.
Packer was now one of the most influential figures in the history of the sport. He revolutionised player payments, eventually swung the cricket establishment behind him, and put one-day cricket on the map forever.