Just as EA's Cricket 07 was released late last year to capitalise on the then-upcoming Ashes Series, Ricky Ponting International Cricket 2007 (or Brian Lara International Cricket 2007, if you live in the UK), from UK developer Codemasters, is being unleashed right in the middle of another major tournament: the ICC Cricket World Cup currently being held in the West Indies. The timing is apt, and not only because of the game's official World Cup licence. With its focus on easy playability and simple controls, International Cricket 2007 certainly feels more like the limited overs version of the sport--quick, exciting, and with a focus on big hits and high scores. The game's lack of comprehensive Test Match or Tour options as well as real player names only appearing in the World Cup mode may irk cricket tragics, but others looking for a more accessible game to play with friends will find plenty to enjoy.
Limited overs encounters form the crux of International Cricket 2007 (better known as Brian Lara International Cricket in the UK). While you're given the option to play one-off Test Matches complete with the requisite two innings per side, most of the modes in International Cricket 2007 revolve around the One Day experience. The game's flagship mode is the actual ICC Cricket World Cup tournament itself, which features all of the 16 finalists' teams as playable (and arrayed in their real-world tournament groupings). As well as the ICC Cup, last year's ICC Champions Trophy event held in India also gets its own dedicated mode, and once again features all eight teams that were involved. From here on in, the list becomes bare--you can set up custom Test Matches, One Day Internationals, or Twenty20 games, but the bad news is that only 16 teams--the teams in the ICC World Cup--are available to choose from. There are no tour modes, there are no domestic competitions--basically nothing outside of the official One Day tournaments and custom matches. Working in its favour, however, is the fact that cricket really isn't that widespread a global sport (come on--own up to it, cricket fans). So while only 16 teams are playable, the world's biggest and best cricketing nations are represented (as well as minnows like Ireland and Canada). What will probably annoy fans more is the game's lack of real player names for modes outside of the ICC events--no doubt an effect of International Cricket 2007's ICC-only licence. That means while real player names are used in the World Cup and Champions Trophy mode, they mysteriously take on strange pseudonyms in any other game modes. (Australian paceman Brett Lee becomes B. Leap, for example). 2b1af7f3a8