Electronic Arts has announced Cricket 2005 for PS2, Xbox and PC. Come this summer, fans of the sport will be able to take control of a fully licensed English team, compete in Twenty20 and regular county cricket and marvel at the TV-style presentation with commentary from Richie Benaud. Wicket.
Cricket 2005 is being developed by EA Canada and HB Studios and will feature the likes of Australia, New Zealand and South Africa in addition to the English team. EA is also promising all the county teams and tournaments, more than 35 stadiums, and a create-a-player facility so that you can add anybody who might not be on the roster.
Typically EA is aiming for players with hugely detailed faces and bodies, and is employing more than 1,000 motion-captured animations. Bowlers will have distinctive actions, and batsmen will have more control than previous Cricket titles (like Cricket 2002, which was recently re-released on a PC budget label).
Amongst the improvements will be the ability to dive and prevent a run out. Or just for the hell of it. Hopefully you'll be able to showboat on boundary-bound slogs by diving repeatedly in a lurching fashion reminiscent of flapping seal on a large trampoline.
Cricket 2005's chief source of competition will be Codemasters' Brian Lara International Cricket, which by curious quirk of fate (read: by design) is also due out on PS2, Xbox and PC this summer.
Codies' Brian sim has already been given the blessing of the hooded elders of the International Cricket Council, and will feature officially sanctioned versions of the Cricket World Cup and Champions Trophy.
You can find screenshots of Cricket 2005 here.