Cricket teams battle for videogame fame

Tom Ingram, front, and members of the Oxford Brookes University 1st XI who could feature in an Ashes 2013 computer game. Picture: OX57391 Ric Mellis

Andrew Strauss, Stuart Broad and Matt Prior celebrate a wicket in 2009 – the last Ashes series on home soil

First published in News thisisoxfordshire: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter. Please call me on (01865) 425411

FOR anyone who has played a computer game the idea of entering the action is mere fantasy.

But a group of plucky Oxford cricketers could find themselves immortalised as video game characters lining up against superstar players.

If Oxford Brookes University First XI tops an online poll they will be digitally rendered in the upcoming official Ashes 2013 cricket game.

The team is currently second to Bristol out of 144 competing teams and has called on the Oxford public to help it become a part of one of cricket’s oldest and fiercest rivalries, England versus Australia.

Voting ends tomorrow.

Ashes 2013 is designed by 505 games and will feature on consoles Xbox 360, PS3 and PC from June 21.

The game is officially recognised by the English and Wales Cricket Board, and Cricket Australia.

Also set for a place in video game history should the team win is the ground in which they play, Wheatley, which sits inside Oxford Brookes University.

The modest venue, with its tricky wicket, would stand alongside the “home of cricket”, Lords, and the 100,000 capacity Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Team all-rounder Tom Ingram, 23, said: “I’ve always wondered what footballers think when they play as themselves in computer games so something like this would be amazing.”

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The Oxford resident and business student said: “We’re really excited, this would be the best thing to happen to any of us. We want Oxford to help us become part of the Ashes. And hopefully when they give us skills they’ll make us better.

“Bristol got their campaign going early but we hope the Oxford public will see us over the line. It’s been back and forth over the last few days so we are starting to get nervous now.

“I’d like to play against England, but we’d have to see how good the games designers make us before we can say we’d beat them.”

The game’s creators would come and take snaps of 11 members of the team to create their likeness, and would also assess their skills in batting, bowling and fielding.

One English team and one Australian team will feature in the game, and Mr Ingrams and his team would then be able to take on cricket stars Alistair Cooke, James Anderson and Michael Clarke.

Spokeswoman for creators 505 Games, Hannah Ashley, said: “We wanted to give grassroots cricket teams a platform to relish, and compete on a world stage against England or Australia this summer.

“We’re thrilled about being able to offer this as a prize and the response from local teams from the UK and Australia has been phenomenal.

“With a few hours left to drum up votes, we can’t wait to see who’ll win their place in Ashes history.”

The company has refused to say how many votes Brookes team have “because it would be unfair on the other teams”.

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