Melbourne, Australia – In the aftermath of a Big Bash Melbourne derby that filled the air with four-letter words and flying bats, host broadcasters, Fox Sports, have admitted that guest director of their match coverage, Hollywood auteur Quentin Tarantino, may have created “the wrong on-set atmosphere”.
Tarantino, 49, is currently in Australia to promote his latest film Django Unchained and had agreed to take charge of Fox Sports’ coverage as “an opportunity to pay tribute to cult exploitation cricket of the 1970’s”, thought to be a reference to Kerry Packer’s World Series.
The recruitment of one of cinema’s biggest names had been seen as a coup for organisers of the Big Bash League but a series of escalating on-field confrontations between Melbourne Renegades overseas player, Marlon Samuels and Melbourne Stars captain, Shane Warne, quickly raised questions about the influence Tarantino had had over the two teams.
“Management started to become nervous when Tarantino was caught trying to smuggle a samurai sword into the Renegades dressing room,” explained a source within the Fox Sports production team, “then there was the way the players were talking. They were still discussing completely inane subjects but doing it in a far more entertaining way, like they were all channelling someone much more intelligent. It soon became obvious that Tarantino had been giving them all notes for their match performance. You could see his influence as soon as the game began, I mean, I’ve never heard the n-word used that often at a coin-toss before, not even on the old rebel tours of South Africa.”
With both Fox Sports and Cricket Australia receiving a record number of complaints, a disciplinary hearing into the actions of Samuels and Warne is due to be held on Monday. Quentin Tarantino is not expected to attend.
As for the match itself, it was described by Herald Sun film critic, Doug Thompson, as “a series of highly enjoyable set-pieces which didn’t quite fit together to form a satisfying whole. In many ways, typical of both Tarantino and Warne’s recent work.”