Go back to Graham Gooch World Class Cricket

Written by: Rik

Date posted: November 8, 2010

Played it ’til my fingers bled…well not quite, but nearly. Yes, some 17 or so years ago, I picked up a copy of this game for my soon-to-be-obsolete Atari ST, and amidst the carnage of a distressingly bleak Ashes summer, I desperately sought an enjoyable and successful computer game alternative to the real-life thrashings that the Aussies were then dishing out to England with alarming regularity.

Unfortunately, though, it didn’t turn out that way. For a start, the ST version of the game was a lot more action-packed than this one, with 5-day test matches frequently lasting little more than a day due to speed at which the game progressed. While on the PC version reviewed here bowling is often akin to hurling an orange into a pitch covered in rice pudding (ie bloody hard work for little reward) the ST version seemingly took place on glassy surfaces with pace and bounce that made batting rather treacherous and caused wickets to tumble at regular intervals.

As such, both enjoyment and success were to prove elusive, with matches turning into farcical, low-scoring affairs that were often abandoned before their conclusion. Indeed, with England using a total of 24 players during the 1993 Ashes series, most of my time was spent in the editing screen adding the newest additions to the squad and deleting the cast-offs.

Having abandoned the notion that the game would provide a decent version of computer cricket, I was nevertheless determined to see a batsman complete a hundred, even if it involved cheating (ie saving after every over and re-loading whenever a wicket fell). Having successfully coaxed Mike Gatting (ex-England captain and the rotund recipient of Shane Warne’s ‘ball of the century’, of whom it was later said, “If it had been a cheese roll, it would never have got past him”) to 82 not out, I was confident of success, but was repeatedly foiled by the part-time left-arm spin of Allan Border. No matter how many times I reloaded and tried, I never got to that hundred.

Still, it’s probably just as well. Deep down I guess I was hoping for some sort of ‘celebration’ animation as a reward – but had I known the truth (there wasn’t one) then I probably wouldn’t have bothered in the first place.

Extract from Memoirs of a Cricket Game Addict, Chapter 3: ‘Graham Gooch’s World Class Cricket and Me’