Caribbean Beat Magazine

Sir Viv and Mr Lillee ride again

James Fuller explains how this relatively simple board game might leave some cricket fans stumped

Developed by Barbadian information technology professional James Corbin, Eezee Kricket is being marketed as a teaching-learning game which captures all the nuances of cricket. Its stated aim is to stimulate interest in cricket, in the hope that that newfound enthusiasm will lead fans to take to the real field of play.

In essence Eezee Kricket is a relatively simple board game. You throw dice, move tokens around a 64-square board and either register runs or lose wickets, depending on the square you land on. If you fall on a “wicket” square, however, you get a second chance. Answer a cricket trivia question correctly and you survive; get it wrong and it’s the long march to the pavilion.

The scoring is for 20-20 games rather than Test matches. Runs and wickets come more readily than they do on a Saturday afternoon, but that might say more about my cricketing abilities than it does about the game. In a five-over-a-side match, replying to my wife’s tally of 62 for 5, I slipped to an ignominious 55 for 5: defeat, dishwashing duties and a week of ridicule.

The range of questions is suitably broad, even if there are a few which only long-suffering wives or mothers might be expected to know. How many tests did Clyde Butts play? How many times did Dennis Lillee dismiss Viv Richards in Test cricket? Mrs Butts and Mrs Lillee reliably inform me the answers are seven and nine respectively.

There are big plans for the game. It is already being marketed globally and has been patented in major cricket-playing countries such as India, Pakistan, England, South Africa and Australia, as well as Canada and the USA. Alternative versions, carrying question sets specific to each country, are also being made available.

Corbin has recently revealed he is working on an electronic version of Eezee Kricket which can be downloaded onto cell phones, as well as one which can be played on television screens.

Manufactured in China, which may explain some occasionally quirky English usage in the questions, the game was launched in February and is now available throughout the Caribbean.

Whether Eezee Kricket really captures all the nuances of cricket is debatable, but it certainly serves to pique interest in the history of the game, and for that it should be roundly commended.

Not only did I find myself scouring the Internet for information on the career of Clyde Butts, but also, I have to confess, the cricket nerd in me rather likes knowing that Sir Viv was despatched by the moustachioed, headband-wearing, aluminium bat-wielding Mr Lillee nine times in Test matches.