Probably the world's best cricket game until Electronic Arts' EA Sports version years later, Allan Border's Cricket is also known as Graham Gooch World Class Cricket, Jonty Rhodes II World Class Cricket, and probably a myriad other names depending on where the game was released.
Aside from different introductory picture featuring different cricket stars (Jonty Rhodes in the South African version of the game, for instance), all versions of the game feature the same great gameplay. Allan Border's Cricket lets you play a variety of games, from one day matches to test cricket. The game has team listing for all nine test-playing nations, as well as those in the Australia Cricket Shield. There also is a feature to edit your teams, incase you want to update the lists and averages. The Australian version (i.e. this one) features all the Sheffield Shield Sides (Australia) with authentic batting and bowling averages, plus Australia, New Zealand, West Indies and England teams, all of which can be customized to your heart's content. You can play against a friend or good computer AI, at Amateur, Professional, or World Class level; you can even watch two computer sides play each other.
You can vary the speed and the amount of spin or swing, and even choose handedness of your batsman and bowlers. Choose from the pre-set field placings or create your own; fielders automatically change over to a left-handed batsman, or a new bowler. The list of options goes on, and the game's fantastic graphic detail including player shadows, and occasional showers of rain add icing to the cake. Suffice to say that no cricket fan should be without Allan Border's Cricket, one of the best sport games of all time that put Audiogenic on the map of great game developers. Two thumbs up!
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You can select different types of pitches like hard, weary, green, and damp. All those cricket pitches behave differently, directly affecting gameplay. For example, In hard pitches, the ball will come to your bat very nicely and you will enjoy playing your strokes. On the contrary, if you are playing a match on a damp pitch, the ball it will carry a low bounce, making it very difficult to play your strokes freely. This means batting becomes quite a challenge.
Allan Border is not the only cricket star to lend his name to a video game, with Ian Botham Cricket and Shane Warne Cricket also offering celebrity-endorsed action. While it might not be the best such game on the market, it does provide some enjoyable cricketing fun for hardened fans and may just be what they need to get through the winter. However, non-cricket followers are unlikely to find that it will convert them to the sport's peculiar joys. The game features a nice range of options, similar to the kind of things you find in the best soccer games, with one day matches to Test cricket, and much in between. There are all nine Test-playing international teams to choose from, plus some Australian ones too, while players can also edit their team. The game is played out via an overhead view, with some decently animated and fast moving sprites to capture the action. The game makes use of a sliding cursor to control bowling, while batting requires careful timing and selection of a number of different shots, while fielding is handled by the computer. As a cricket sim, this certainly isn't actually bad. The game rattles along at a decent pace, (certainly faster than many real life matches!), and while the control system isn't the easiest to get the hand off, you can soon pick it up. The graphics too are quite charming in that slightly old-school fashion, so if you are in the market for a retro cricket game, this is a reasonable bet. The more recent Brian Lara International Cricket 2005 from Codemasters offers a flashier and slicker experience, but if you've played that, this is worth a look.
For me, however, the ultimate test of Cricket 22 was always going to be the career mode. After all, it did promise a journey from village cricketer to international superstar, a whole host of mini-games, dialogue trees that impact your relationship with your team and so on. And so it was that I embarked on the journey as a humble cricketer representing the Coventry village team, with aspirations of representing Warwickshire county and ultimately, England.
In the twenty years since Allan Border retired as Australian cricket captain he's been one of the game's closest and most astute observers. His views on cricket - based on his experiences as a player, a captain, a selector and a commentator - are fascinating, forthright and informed by more than three decades of involvement at the game's highest level.
In Cricket as I See It he gives us his wisdom and opinions on the game he loves - from epic Tests, the rising power of India, and the Twenty20 revolution, through to his thoughts on captaincy, and the essential arts of batting, bowling and sledging. He reflects on the great players and contests of his generation, as well as controversies such as the underarm bowling affair, the turbulent events that led to him shouldering the captaincy, the rebel tour of South Africa, Steve Waugh's dropping as one-day captain, and the divisive 'Monkeygate' scandal. With cricket, Allan calls it as he sees it, and the result is a book to be savoured and enjoyed by cricket lovers everywhere. 2b1af7f3a8