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ECB announces launch of official Ashes game

by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

The England and Wales Cricket Board has collaborated with Big Ant Studios, an Australian video game developer based in Melbourne, to present Cricket 19 – the official game of the Ashes.

The game will feature all three formats of international cricket, both men’s and women’s teams, and all the host venues. An enhanced Artificial Intelligence engine will facilitate a realistic playing experience, including identifying the opposition’s strengths and weaknesses, developing concrete strategies, and manipulating the strike and gaps in the field.

“We are thrilled to announce Cricket 19 with Big Ant Studios,” Ross Calder, ECB’s commercial director, said. “We have a huge summer of cricket to look forward to in England and Wales this year, and this is another great way for fans to enjoy all the action.”

Among the new features in the game is a scenario mode, which will allow players to recreate some of the greatest matches in history and share the results online to issue challenges to other players to achieve difficult targets, such as extremely steep run chases or improbable draws.

Further, enhancements to the career mode will allow users to construct a story around their players. The players’ career trajectory will in turn be determined by how they are presented in media reports and news headlines. The game will also be available on the Nintendo Switch system, allowing users to play in both single and multi-player modes, at home as well as on-the-go.

Speaking on the game’s offerings, Ross Symons, the Big Ant chief executive officer, said: “We have the most active and passionate community. Many of our players logged thousands of hours with our previous cricket titles, and Cricket 19 is very much built on the experience of those players.

“Whether you’re looking to enjoy a 20-year cricket career that takes you from the club level to captaining the national team, re-create an ODI or IT20 series or take part in the Ashes, or just bash some balls around with friends, Cricket 19 has you covered.”

Further details on the game’s features will be released at a later date. The game will release on all consoles – PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch – in May. An exact release date will be announced in due course.

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