Card game review

Ashes Top Trumps



Freddie - tops © Top Trumps

Since England won the Ashes this year - oh, hadn't you noticed? - there's been the inevitable rush of bandwagon jumping: by new fans (welcome!), by publishers and by marketing types, to name just a few.

Some products have been trite, some have been trashy but some have really come up trumps. Not least Top Trumps - well, with a name like that, what did you expect? - who have just brought out an Ashes special edition of their much-loved and much-frustrating game.

We should come clean at this point and admit that Cricinfo had a hand in providing the numerical data and the player profiles so we won't wax lyrical about the marvellous stattage and the lovingly crafted thumbnail sketches, because that just wouldn't do. However, stats boffins (you know who you are) may like to know that the backs of the cards contain partial scorecards that, when laid out, create the whole of the Test series number by wondrous number. Wit woo.

All the 2005 players are represented for both teams, with Boycs, Beefy, Athers and Greig included for England. The Aussies have Richie Benaud as their extra man; having been feted everywhere else, bless him, he may as well be immortalised in cardboard, too. Quite right.

There are six categories - year born, highest score, wickets, catches, Ashes impact and Test appearances - and, as ever, the skill lies in deciding which field to suggest, unless you're up against Shane Warne, say, who will always be a menace whatever you throw at him. Hours of Beefy v Freddie duels are up for grabs, too.

In short, these cards are sexy, sassy - and should be in your stocking.

Buy it now

Jenny Thompson is assistant editor of Cricinfo