Have You Played… Ashes Cricket 2013?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

There are certain games I will never delete from my hard drive, and among them is Ashes Cricket 2013. I have absolutely no interest in cricketball, and even less in playing cricketball games. Apart from this one. This, a game so astonishingly bad, that it was cancelled after it was released.

Oh a book could be written about this game. Things began so spectacularly with this trailer:

It was the most extraordinarily prescient and portentous piece of gibberish, for a game that was going to die in flames. A game that, amazingly, managed to miss the deadline for release in time for the Ashes. And then 2013 gave that game a gift – madly there was a second Ashes that year, five months later, meaning they had been given a second chance by the benevolent if naive gods of cricket.

Days after release the game was pulled from Steam, had its own Facebook page removed, and refunds were offered to anyone who’d bought it. Why? Because the game played like this:

And then, in surely a unique move, publishers 505 Games cancelled the game days after it had been released. The reason? Because of the big name, big money sponsors they’d enormously pissed off. The England Cricket Board and Cricket Australia received a public apology from the publisher, who at the same time held no punches while laying the blame entirely on the developers, Trickstar Games. (I can find no news of the developer’s closure, but they’ve not made anything since.) Console versions never appeared at all, rumoured to have failed cert, and the whole thing was buried. Except, I’ve still got it installed here!

I just booted it up to see if it was still great. It is! I managed to score a 4 by tapping the ball gently, then running back and forth to panic the fielder AI such that they threw the ball at the boundary for me. What a game!


  1. zxcasdqwecat says:


  2. int says:

    One of my favorite books on cricket is by Ted Kunterblast, called The West Indies: A Nation of Cricketers.
    Here it is in its entirety:
    “The West Indies aren’t much good at cricket.”

    • TheDandyGiraffe says:

      And England has not lost a game of cricket since the war.

      • Mael Milscothach says:

        England is great and much better than any other country in—the world.

        • MiniMatt says:

          You are Nigel Farage, and I claim my five pounds.

          Actually, can I have five euros instead?

          • Scurra says:

            Flanders & Swann said it best:

            The English, the English, the English are best
            I wouldn’t give tuppence for all of the rest

            And all the world over each nation’s the same
            They’ve simply no notion of playing the game
            They argue with umpires, they cheer when they’ve won
            And they practice before hand which spoils all the fun

            The English the English the English are best
            I wouldn’t give tuppence for all of the rest

  3. Jac says:

    If cricket was actually like this I’d watch it and enjoy it.

    • sicanshu says:

      As an American, I have no way of knowing that this is not, in fact, how cricket is played. Most of us secretly suspect that there is no real game of cricket, and that it’s actually a British conspiracy designed to make us feel stupid.

      • FurryLippedSquid says:

        We may have started it but you took the ball and ran with it!

        NFL? MLB? I have no idea what’s going on there. Men doing things.

        • sicanshu says:

          The trick to understanding American sports is that they actually only exist to give us time to go to the bathroom between commercials.

          • FurryLippedSquid says:


            That and give Janet Jackson somewhere to expose a withered breast. God love her.

      • TillEulenspiegel says:

        I’ve attempted to watch cricket for about 10 minutes, and even read the Wikipedia article, and I’m pretty sure this is true. Cricket must be some strange communal ritual and not actually a sport with rules that make any sense.

      • zxcasdqwecat says:

        As the rest of the world you mean

      • MiniMatt says:

        As someone who used to be on an Oxford law firm’s cricket team (yes, Oxford law firms have cricket teams, yes, at this stage we’re parodying ourselves), I can confirm this is exactly how I used to play cricket.

        My Mum(Mom) brought my old school reports round a few years back and I noted with glee I was given a grade C in cricket at school (yes, being graded in cricket, yes, parodying ourselves again). And this was a comprehensive school, not one of yer posho grammar or boarding schools.

        • sicanshu says:

          This is the most British thing I have ever read. Working at an American law firm, we don’t play sports together. Unless drinking is a sport.

          • MiniMatt says:

            The barely disguised secret of amateur cricket is that it provides an opportunity to make standing around drinking of a summer’s evening look respectable :)

          • FurryLippedSquid says:


            Absolutely. And to give the fusion of bread and cucumber credence.

            It’s a Hell of a sport.

      • Sarfrin says:

        It’s the Mornington Crescent of sports.

        • gunny1993 says:

          Would watch Jack Dee do the commentary for a cricket game

      • invitro says:

        Why does cricket make you feel stupid?

      • Capt. Bumchum McMerryweather says:

        This is what cricket actually looks like:

        link to m.youtube.com

  4. DelrueOfDetroit says:

    Howany reviews of this game started with “Ashes to ashes…”?

  5. Skabooga says:

    John, you must find a way to preserve your copy, for posterity’s sake. The future must know just how shonky games could be.

  6. vorador says:

    All i know about Ashes Cricket 2013 is that if i want to laugh until my ribs hurt, all i need to do is to watch videos of gameplay on the tube.

    There’s something in the ridiculous failure of an AI, the players blinking around the field doing random animations and the absurdity of it all that cracks me up so much.

    • Jalan says:

      I still have fond recall of my sides hurting over laughing so much at watching the umpire often just glide slowly EVERYWHERE throughout an entire match.

    • santouryuu says:

      agreed.it is great comedy.home there are more video of this

  7. invitro says:

    Hello, my name is invitro and I am a former alcoholic. I just wanted to say that I finally realized it was time to me to stop drinking the morning after I spent five hours watching cricket on youtube while drinking tequila.

  8. Cederic says:

    Really John, ‘cricketball’? No wonder you don’t follow the game, it’s properly called Stickball.

    Not to be confused of course with Stickball for Girls, or it’s North American spin-off, World Series Stickball for Girls.

    Disclaimer: Stickball variants are equal opportunity sports embracing all genders, except Apache Attach Helicopters who cause too much mess.

    (I’m also currently enjoying England’s world record performance at Trent Bridge. It’s not looking good for the team in green. More stick on ball needed methinks)