With the big day done and the red man packed off to the North Pole for another year, it’s time to concentrate on the important things in life – the cricket.

Well it might not be England, South Africa, or New Zealand, but the Boxing Day Test is the Boxing Day Test irrespective of who Australia walk out onto the hallowed ground of the MCG to play. If, like me, you’re likely to watch every ball bowled during the Test, there will be some downtime before, in between, and after sessions that will need to be filled with something productive – like playing a cricket game. So dig out your old consoles, settle into the crease and prepare to hit your opposition into the stands.

Ricky Ponting Cricket

I can safely say having interviewed Mr Ponting on a couple of occasions that he has the thickest wrists I’ve ever seen on a man. That of course has nothing to do with the excellent game named after the great man that you’ll have to drag out your PlayStation 2 to play. Cricket has never been an easy sport to replicate in a video game, and although the players here look nothing like they do in real life, being able to partake in a 1933 Bodyline challenge makes the trip up into the attic to retrieve said game more than worthwhile.

Ashes Cricket 2009

ashes09

It’s your PS3 or 360 you’ll need next. It might only feature official team names for the English and Australian Test players, but that’s why it’s called Ashes Cricket 2009 and not Other Officially Licensed Cricket Teams Around The World 09. While some questionable AI does exist, it’s still a solid representation of the game and has an excellent control system. It’s all about the batting here like with any cricket game because no one wants to bowl or field.

Don Bradman Cricket 14

Released on console with more bugs in it than an entomologist’s outhouse, it was heavily patched for its release on PC and quickly went from 4 for 43 at lunch on Day One to 5 for 288 at stumps. Developed locally, the passion for the game shines through, and on PC, it looks pretty damn fine too. While we haven’t had time to play Don Bradman Cricket 17 at the time of writing, 14 is the perfect accompaniment to the summer of cricket if you’re too skint from Christmas to buy the latest edition.