Kevin Pietersen, the explosive England batsman, will be the face of Ashes Cricket 2009, the official video game of this summerâ€™s tournament, CodemastersÂ® announced today. Pietersen will be the gameâ€™s cover star and joins Ricky Ponting, Shane Warne and Sir Ian Botham in playing a prominent role in the game.
Pietersenâ€™s powerful, attacking style has helped make him one of the most prominent athletes in the sport, especially following his and Englandâ€™s success in the 2005 Ashes series. Now gamers will have the opportunity to emulate that success, playing as him or against him in Ashes Cricket 2009, which will feature fully licensed players, kit, stadia and equipment to give a truly authentic experience.
â€œI am delighted to be involved with the official game of the Ashes,â€ commented KP. â€œThe game looks fantastic and Iâ€™m sure both England and Australia fans are going to relish the opportunity to take part in a virtual Ashes series. Representing your country in the Ashes is a huge honour and I canâ€™t wait for it to start.â€
Joining Pietersen as a headline star in the game will be Australian captain Ricky Ponting whose image will adorn the gameâ€™s pack art in his home country. Speaking about the prospect of gamers recreating the Ashes at home Ricky said: â€œI think itâ€™s going to be massive. There are guys all over the world playing against each other trying to recreate us playing against England at grounds like Lords. We have some bad memories from our last trip to England to play in the Ashes so we are desperate to put it right.â€
Ashes stars of the past are also included in Ashes Cricket 2009 with Sir Ian Botham and Shane Warne taking on commentary duties and hosting the gameâ€™s comprehensive â€˜Legends Modeâ€™. Beefy and Warney will talk players through the basics of every aspect of the sport, progressing to more advanced techniques before setting player challenges based on classic moments from the history of cricket.
â€œRecording commentary for the game was a lot of fun and I am really pleased with the result. Itâ€™s always good to have some banter with Beefy,â€ commented Warne. â€œI played in eight Ashes Series and itâ€™s an amazing feeling to represent your country on the biggest stage. Hopefully Ashes Cricket 2009 will allow cricket fans a taste of what that feels like.â€
Botham added: â€œIâ€™m sure cricket fans in England, Australia and all around the world will have a lot of fun playing against each other on Ashes Cricket 2009. Iâ€™m very pleased to be involved in the game and hope that the people who play it enjoy the Legends Mode. In 2005 we all saw what kind of positive effect a successful Ashes series can have on the country and hopefully the boys can emulate that this year.â€
Coming from the home of video game cricket, Ashes Cricket 2009 will build on the heritage that Codemasters has enjoyed with its best-selling Brian Lara series of games and will continue to lead the field with great batting, bowling and fielding gameplay and authenticity that made the series a huge hit with cricket fans the world over. Produced by Codemasters, the game is currently being developed by Transmission Games and will be released for the PLAYSTATIONÂ®3 computer entertainment system, Xbox 360Â® video game and entertainment system from MicrosoftÂ® and the PC. A Nintendo Wiiâ„¢ version, developed by Gusto Games, will be released in August.