Another UK Competition: Ashes ’09

Cricket, the profoundly popular bat-and-ball sport beloved by my fellow countrymen, is in the depths of The Ashes, a contest to see who is the best in the world at not being too badly injured by a rock-hard ball thrown at a 1000mph by buff men. Spectacularly British development and publishing company Codemasters is making a game of it, where no one will be bruised, and to celebrate this achievement they will be providing us with a bat signed by Kevin Pietersen (which you can then use to fight off zombies) as well as some copies of the game. That’s the game version of Mr Pietersen up there. Sadly, this is another competition open only to the Britons, sorry international types, we’ll have some stuff for you to win soon. Read on for details.

Here’s that bat:

If you want to win a copy of The Ashes Cricket ’09 – which is clearly the best cricket game you’re likely to play this year (I had a go a couple of weeks back, and even I was impressed with the options for beginner to expert play) – and have a chance to be the proud owner of the signed bat, then all you need to do is email us with the answer to this question: “What other sports could be improved with the use of protective armour and wooden bats, and why?” The best reasons will win, obviously. We judge them. Our judgment is final, and correct. Send your entries via this link, and please include your mailing address. Time honoured rules apply, and the closing date for entries is Saturday 1st August, 12pm.

(Fuel competition winners have been selected and sent off to Codies too. Congrats to Josh Marriage, who gets the art, and Louis Fixsen, Jack Wilkie, Simon Leary, Robert Buckley, and Keith Neilson, who get copies of the game.)


  1. TeeJay says:

    A list of “Commercial, Freeware, Shareware, Online, PSX & PS/2, Machintosh and Under Development” [sic] cricket games

    link to

  2. cullnean says:

    I fucking love cricket :)

  3. PC Monster says:

    The only way to make Cricket more dull is to put it on PC, lol. I had a friend that used to play an old Amiga game but to get the TV effect he even turned off the colour on his TV! Needless to say, he got wee-wee extracted from him by the shedload. :)

  4. Ian says:

    @ PC Monster: Surely you could make cricket more dull by turning it into televised darts? ;)

  5. cullnean says:

    cricket dull?

    i think not, playing with mates and a few beers its a good way to spend the afternoon.

  6. Jayt says:

    just watch the aussies come back and win the 2nd test

  7. Jayt says:


  8. cullnean says:

    er no, i think you will find we already beat the aussies in the second test

  9. TonyB says:

    Has Mr. Pietersen got a very large signature, or is that a very small bat? In that picture it looks like it’d be woefully ineffective for its primary function of zombie ward as you won’t be able to keep them far enough away.

  10. Gap Gen says:

    If only you could talk to the Australians. Now that would be something.

  11. spinks says:

    I always felt the main appeal of cricket was that you could go sit in the sun and drink (cheap) beer all day and the cricket was kind of … there in the background. The cricket grounds even have huge electronic scoreboards and replays, they know most people aren’t actually watching it.

  12. NegativeZero says:

    As an Australian I’m quite happy to be excluded from this competition. A K.P.-signed bat would only be good for ritual burning to create a new set of Ashes that you can’t take from us like you’ll be taking the real ones. :(

  13. mickiscoole says:

    Gap Gen: ?

  14. cullnean says:


    he may be refering to Sledging which is cricket speak for “ripping the piss and trying to put your oppents off”

  15. MacBeth says:

    Gap Gen: :D

  16. MD says:

    @ mickiscoole:
    To quote Gillen’s explanation elsewhere on RPS:

    Was using a little bit of UK-journo short-hand. Edge’s review of Doom hit it with a 7/10 and ended something like “Yeah – it’s pretty fun. But imagine if you could *talk* to the monsters. Now, that would be something”.

    I found it a rather funny reference, for what that’s worth :D

  17. del says:

    I think that the Wii version is very cool and hope that it sells very well.

    Not that I have any vested interest…. *whistles innocently*

  18. Piispa says:

    Heh heh… Those silly Britons and their silly little games.

  19. Rosti says:

    Cricket is the ultimate picnic/beer spectator sport on a sunny day. Also, being quintessentially English is a great hobby!

  20. Muzman says:

    To be sure: Cricket is very large and very long. Its silliness is neither here nor there.

  21. Nighthood says:

    Woot, I can has Fuel! :D Thanks RPS!

    Also, cricket is dull.

  22. JoeDuck says:

    I once undertook the task of understanding Cricket by watching on tv a full game. I tried to be as open minded as possible, so that I could eventually find the appeal of such a popular… activity.
    I understood that if the ball hits the wooden thingies, that is not good for the batter, and if the batter hits the ball, that is not good for the thrower. And for both of them, fashionable clothing was VERY important.
    After that, things got a little more difficult. If the ball was hit, the game suddenly became baseball, but in this baseball you had home runs, lots and lots of home runs and you batted many, many, many times to do hundreds of home runs.
    The rest of the team drank beer and cheered on the guy as he stood in the open of hours.
    BTW, that previous poster who said in cricket you get to sit in the sun has obviously never been to England. Sun does not happen in England, you get to sit in the cloudy day, in the mist or in the rain, but not in the sun.
    Once they all got bored or run out of beer, the game ended and everyone counted his home runs in hexadecimal notation to apply a quantum physics model and decide who got to drink beer the next day.
    I did not know you could actually win at this game, I might have to download the demo (because there is a demo, right?) so I can see what virtual beer tastes lik and eventually, do lots of home runs.

  23. cullnean says:

    hmm yes lets compare cricket which has been around since the 16th century, to some upstart over complicated version of rounders (which is played by girls).

  24. The Archetype says:

    Probably best this one’s only open to Brits. Don’t want to take the chance of an Australian winning and embarrasing everyone :)

  25. Captain Haplo says:

    We still haven’t forgiven you Pommie blighters over Bodyline.

    The spirit of Donald Bradman drives us to bloody vengeance.

    That said I’ve never actually been too *interested* in Cricket, except when the concept of thrashing the English come into play. A good rivalry makes anything interesting.

  26. dalig varg says:

    screw the english!!!!!!!

  27. spinks says:

    cullnean: cricket is played by girls too :P

  28. cullnean says:

    yes but no as much as rounders, netball or baseball

  29. Ian says:

    Captain Haplo: Not our fault Bradman was a siss. ;-)

    I’m kinda with you though, just from the English side. Cricket most of the year round doesn’t get me much, but I love watching the Ashes.

  30. Ian says:

    Also: England are pretty good at girl cricket at the moment, aren’t we?

  31. antonymous says:

    Crickets live decently in little holes in the dirt. Why not leave them there, making their happy music?

    Also that bat looks pretty terrifying. Isn’t that the one they use for seal clubbing too?

  32. Joshua says:

    As an American, I am profoundly confused by cricket. I understand the whole batter pitcher thing (okay, I know the names are different, bear with me), the problem comes once the ball is put into play. What the hell is going on there? How come the scores are like 500-400? Is it true the games take a week to finish?

    Please note, I am not saying this as some sort of superiority complex. I realize the game of baseball is at least as baffling to a newcomer (and games often feel like they take a week to finish). I am just very very confused by cricket.

  33. Matt says:

    @Joshua: Here’s the short version:
    Whenever one of the batsmen (two at any time) hit the ball, they need to run to the other end of the wicket to score runs, without being caught or run out. Each batsman stays batting until the fielding team get them out, which partly explains the high scores. Hitting to ball out to the boundary also gets a higher score (4 or 6, depending on whether or not it hits the ground first). Hence the high scores.

    As for the length of the game, it varies depending on the form of the game. There’s a 5 day version, where each team gets 2 innings, but there are also shorter versions, where each team only gets a single innings, with a limited number of balls.

    Inevitably, though, the games reach their end, and one team (normally Australia) leaves victorious, and the other (normally England) shuffles away miserably, promising to do better next time.

  34. cullnean says:

    also we take breaks for meals like proper gentlemen

  35. Muzman says:

    Cricket’s pretty much the same as baseball only there’s 4 ‘wickets’ in baseball instead of two; you have funny little wooden things instead of bases that you hit instead of tagging the man; and there’s no limit on how many swings you can take at the ball or runs you can make (imagine if a baseball batsman, after completing a run, gets home and bats again), or how many outs you get in an inning (ie, the whole team gets a go).
    It’s a bit confusing that they bat in pairs, but think about it one batsman at a time and it’s not so bad.

  36. Jarl says:

    Cricket is far too intricate to be described in a forum post.

    A test match can last for 5 days.

    Each side gets 2 chances to bat (an innings), to win the opposition must bowl out the other team twice (remove each batter from play (being out) until there is only 1 left) and score more runs.

    The game progresses in a series of bowler (pitchers) turns called overs these consist of the bowler (pitcher) chucking the ball at the batsman in attempt get him out several ways however this is also the batters chance to score a point (called a ‘run’ part of the the score you mention above).

  37. cullnean says:

    also in 20/20 cricket if the second team to bat gets rained off they use maths to figure out who would theoretically win

  38. cullnean says:

    for our confused non-cricket playing chums

    link to

    actually that wont help it would only add to the head scratching.

    cricket is best learned by playing and picking up the rules as you go.

  39. Kester says:

    Reason #47 cricket is the best sport: there is a rule governing having a tree growing in the middle of your ground.

  40. wcaypahwat says:

    Does the game make you sit around for three days waiting for your monitor to dry out?

  41. Stupoider says:

    To be perfectly honest, I’d rather play cricket than play football. Cricket is great. <3

  42. Wisq says:

    I see this as a chance to learn the rules in a more hands-on fashion. Reading the rules on Wikipedia is all well and good, but I don’t think they really do it justice in terms of actual comprehension.

    I’ve always been interested in the less North American sports, since ours seem to be either boring snoozefests (baseball), or else macho brawls with the action constantly broken up, either by design (“football”) or by constant breaks for advertising (everything else).

    Maybe it’s just overfamiliarity and “grass is greener” thinking, and maybe I’ll find it as boring as our own sports, but at least I can find out for myself. :)

    Now I just need a computer game for rugby …

  43. Fatchap says:

    Sadly it is against the laws of nature to make a good rugby game.

    Bat-to-ball games on the other hand should be relatively easy if the devs actually understand the game.

  44. edosan says:

    …but I live in the States and I need a cricket bat for my Shaun of the Dead halloween costume!

  45. Hoppipolla says:

    This game will probably get delayed because of the British developers time wasting. 8)

  46. del says:

    As designer of the Wii version, I can assure you that it’s ready to rock and roll, Hoppipolla. =) We’re no slackers.

  47. Bob Bobson says:

    An excellent explanation of cricket for those that already know how baseball works:

    link to

  48. MrBejeebus says:

    didn’t see this until a friend pointed it out today and a few minutes later my game arrived, cheers!

  49. Vasagi says:

    who won then?

  50. Rob says:

    Did anyone win this yet? The Ashes is over!