International Cricket Captain by Empire Interactive is a management video game based on the sport of cricket. The player is able to take control of the English County side of their choice from the 1998 Season with the aim of becoming accomplished enough to captain the English national side.
During close season, contract negotiations take place in which players are transferred between clubs or retire from the game altogether. There is also a pool of overseas players (from which the player can sign only one, in line with the regulations of the time).
The player receives a new points total each season based on their performance. If they have accrued enough points they are invited to coach the England team. This involves selecting a squad from the extensive pool of English county players and managing them in One Day International and Test Matches, including an annual winter tour.
The game continues for twenty seasons until 2018, at which point the player is forced into retirement and the game ends.
Australian Cricket Captain
ACC, featuring Australian State teams and competitions was released to the Australasian market in 1999. The game is almost identical to the original release in terms of gameplay aside from a revamp of the contracting system and minor cosmetic tweaks. There is also a commentary by former Australian captain Ian Chappell.
The International Cricket Captain series
The International Cricket Captain (ICC for short) series began in 1998, when programmer Chris Child created a program for a cricket management game. He presented this to Brian Walker, a producer at Empire Interactive. The game was signed up very quickly with Walker taking on the role of producer/co-designer. As he was previously the producer at Eidos of the highly successful Championship Manager it is no surprise that the two games bear a close resemblance.
Although there had been attempts cricket games in the recent past, ranging from International Cricket on the NES and Brian Lara Cricket on the PC, Mega Drive and later the PlayStation, ICC was groundbreaking in that it was the first cricket based game to move away from the traditional arcade format.
Subsequent versions of the game are ICC 2, ICC 2000, ICC 2001, ICC 2002, ICC 2005: Ashes Edition, ICC 2006, ICC III, ICC 2008 and most recently ICC 2009: Ashes Edition. Although most of these have mainly been database updates for their subsequent seasons, ICC III is the first cricket management of its time to figure 3D graphics for simulating the gameplay including features such as Hawk-Eye and ICC 2009 saw game modes revamped along with changes to the AI in various aspects.
Some of the more hardcore ICC fans are critical about the lack of improvements in the game engine and/or new features in the last 4 releases. The game has retained the same 2D graphical engine in the game since it launched in 1998 up until ICC III which features 3D motion captured graphics.