Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Cricket Coach 2012

As a young lad I loved cricket and my love for the game was increased when my dad bought me International Cricket Captain when I was 10 years old. Nearly 15 years later I have found a new game which blows ICC out of the water. That game is Cricket Coach 2012.

I used to spend hours on ICC building an innings with Steve James and taking wickets galore with Ashley Cowan – remember him? Now as a 24 year old I have now found a way to spend the few hours a day that I have spare.

Cricket Coach 2012 is the cricket version of Football Manager. It has evolved from ICC and it’s generic players. Each player now has stats out of 100 for front foot, back foot and aggressiveness for batting and consistency and accuracy for bowling. It even tells you where they field.

That is what amazes me about Cricket Coach 2012- the statistical depth. Gone are the days when you had a squad of 18 players and could only play as an English county or one of the test playing nations. Now you can control second elevens and under 19’s squads complete with real fixtures and tables and can tour the world with international ‘A’ teams and under 19’s.

It is not just about English and Test match cricket either- you can control any of the minor nations such as Ireland, Netherlands, Afghanistan, Kenya and even Jersey! You can play through a full World Cricket League campaign with promotion and relegation. These countries play in the ‘Intercontinental Cup’ and ‘Intercontinental Shield’. Winning Division 1 of the many leagues and you can qualify for the World Cup and World t20.

Playing as Ireland today, I realised how many players there are currently plying their trade with English counties, albeit many of them with second elevens. Ireland has near a hundred eligible players in the game. Even Uganda has ‘real’ players; I kid you not!

The IPL and the Big Bash are also represented; under different names of course but you can see the sheer depth for one game.

The match engine is almost flawless too. A 2d match engine (which is much better than the clumsy 3d in some sports management games) can be tweaked and fine tuned to your needs. You can just watch your batsmen hit boundaries or you can sit tight and watch a four day game ball by ball.

There is also an almanac, where the game saves your saved game so you can go back and review things season by season. Have a look- Impressive!

There is an editor too where you can transfer players, tweak player ratings, change or add tours, make players available for a second nation- think Berg and Italy, add your own leagues and even add your own players.

A truly amazing game; priced at £19.99 it is a must for all cricket fans and cricket statto’s!

I am now off to get Jersey test status!