Who created Cricket Coach?
The first version of Cricket Coach appeared in 2001 in the form of Michael Vaughan's Cricket Manager, written by Oli Norwell. After a short hiatus work has continued consistently on the project since summer 2004. Here you can read a little about the history of the game, and how it went from an idea Oli Norwell had whilst playing Championship Manager in 1998, to the hugely popular and well known game that it is in 2013.
Oli Norwell - Programmer and Game Designer
Cricket Coach 2014 is primarily the product of over 14 years of work by Oli Norwell. A keen cricket fan and sports game enthusiast. Oli, in combination with various helpers over the years, has developed what was initially a very simple simulation of cricket written in the BASIC programming language, into one of the leading sports management games on the market.
Cricket Coach 2014 is very much an 'indie' game, no outside funding has ever touched the project, nor influenced it. Over 85% of every penny spent on purchasing the game (15% goes on card processing fees/web hosting etc) goes direct to Oli who uses the money to support himself whilst bettering the product. By purchasing Cricket Coach 2014 you know as a fact that you are helping the project in a huge way, as well as gaining a fun game for yourself.
It all started in the mid-1990's, when a 13 year old Oli wanted a game similar to 'Championship Manager', but for the sport of cricket. Many experiments followed over the years until February 1999 when the current C++ codebase was born. One or two lines from this still exist in the game today, believe it or not.
Back in the year 1999 Oli's key aim was to gain a publishing deal for the product. After literally dozens of rejections he finally succeeded in the Ashes summer of 2001. A company called Midas Interactive took on the product and brought it to market in September of that year. The game gained a cult following largely due to it's somewhat unique 2-players-on-one-pc multi-player option. Which wasn't available on other simulations. The website Home Of The Underdogs went on to feature the game.
After a short hiatus for a university education Oli began to rewrite the game from scratch in summer 2004 (bar a couple of lines of code as mentioned above). Later that year he joined forces with Glenn Stiemens who helped massively over the couple of years that followed. In late 2005 it became clear that the new cricket game would shortly be ready. The name Cricket Coach had been decided upon way back in 2002. Focus Multimedia picked up the in-store publishing rights whilst Oli was also keen to release online to reach gamers more directly.
Cricket Coach was released on March 31st 2006, and was full of bugs! In all the stress of finishing the game Oli hadn't tested the game properly and the first weeks were chaotic, with various new releases made to fix problems that people had found. Marcus Trescothick's Cricket Coach was the name given to the Focus boxed released, and this hit the shelves in May 2006. Summer 2006 saw a major patch for the original Cricket Coach, adding massive record keeping features and improved tactical options.
Glenn Stiemens was the driver behind a new look for Cricket Coach that appeared in the 2007 edition, a look which really enhanced the visual feel of the product. In early 2007 Oli returned from watching England lose the Ashes in Australia 5-0 to complete Cricket Coach 2007. This version was once again released by Midas Interactive, but not without problems which almost stopped the release altogether. Eventually they were solved and the game went on to sell very well online. Online sales from the project were beginning to mount, and Oli considered the practicality of making the project exclusively internet sales based.
In late 2007/2008 Oli worked on the spin-off products 'Ford Ranger Cup Manager' and 'VFL Coach' for Ford Australia before moving to the USA for 3 months in late 2008. It was in downtown San Diego that Oli pencilled the first ideas for what was to become Cricket Coach 2009. The game engine was to be rewritten to make it much faster and much more compatible with graphics hardware, the fonts drawing code was also to be improved dramatically. Throughout the first half of 2009 Oli worked tirelessly on the game, eventually releasing it on June 24th 2009. A key gameplay addition was the Indian Premier League (although for licensing reasons this is known as the ISL in the game). With Twenty20 becoming huge features related to this form of the game were enhanced, including adding full T20 career stats and record keeping for each player.
Online sales soared by 300% and reviews became more and more positive towards a game that felt like it had finally fulfilled it's early promise. A huge update in October 2009 added the 'World Cricket League' structure and Intercontinental Cup. These competitions let gamers play as countries like Ireland, Holland and Afghanistan. Something that no other cricket game could offer at the time.
In summer 2010 a boxed release followed, reaching those hadn't discovered the game online. By this point Oli had begun to work on what was to become Cricket Coach 2011. This release offered far more in the way of editing facilities, something that the online community had been looking for since the start of the project. It also added flexible tour management.
Development on Cricket Coach 2011 continued through to August 2011, when the final patch was released. In late 2012 Oli began working on Cricket Coach 2012, which added many key new features, including under-19 cricket, 2nd XI cricket, friendlies, the Australian T20 league and an Almanack production feature. In early 2013 a version of the Apple MacOS was released.
In September 2013 the newest game in the series, Cricket Coach 2014, is set to be released.
Oli continues to work on the project on a daily basis. As long as sales continue development on the project will continue.
Please support the project and Oli's efforts by purchasing the game today.
Toby Wilkinson - Player Database Manager
Since the release of Cricket Coach 2011 Toby Wilkinson, an English cricket fan based in Warwickshire has been hard at work taking the player database to the next level. Toby, with assistance from many 'helpers' across the world has truly revolutionised this part of the game database. His meticulous attention to detail has resulted in over a thousand entirely new players entering the database from all corners of the globe. Additionally he has communicated on an almost daily basis with Oli Norwell to ensure the game is responding to the skill ratings as set out in the database correctly.
James Campbell - Database Researcher
Assisting Toby with the player database is James Campbell, who's work on the minor cricketing nations has expanded the player database significantly. James has added literally hundreds of players from countries such as Argentina, Malaysia, Bermuda and Denmark, further expanding the scope of the game.
Previous team members
Additional thanks must go to Glenn Stiemens, who from late 2004 to 2007 worked alongside Oli Norwell on Cricket Coach and Cricket Coach 2007. He is largely responsible for the current GUI look and feel which was first introduced in Cricket Coach 2007. Glenn left the team to work on the Football Manager series of game for Sports Interactive, and has now moved on again to a new life in Sweden.
Chris Rice was the artist commissioned in 2006 to produce some of the early Cricket Coach artwork. Much of his work can still be seen in the game today.