Cricket 22 Forced to Delay Due to Sex Scandal
Sports video games developers may have faced some headache moments when they have to swap players on their covers for several reasons. Even players like LeBron James, Neymar, Kyrie Irving, Ronaldo, and Brett Favre had their respective covers swapped because they had changed teams during the period between the release of the covers and the actual launch of the game. While this could be troublesome, it's not a big deal compared to the recent swap on Cricket 22's cover.
Cricket 22 had to remove Tim Paine on the cover following the emergence of a sex scandal involving the Australian cricketer. Paine was revealed to have sent "lewd messages" and an image of his genitals to a former female colleague, as reported by Kotaku.
The incident is reported to have happened back in 2017 and Paine was cleared after an investigation by local cricket authorities, which determined the exchange was "consensual". The scandal became public late last week as the texts were due to be revealed publicly, and Paine has since stepped down from his role as captain although, he will still be playing for the Australian team against England in the upcoming Ashes series.
Cricket 22's developer Big Ant posted a statement on Twitter confirming that "factors beyond our control have meant that we need to update the game’s cover art, other visuals, and team lists." The game is delayed from 25 November to 2 December.
Following the announcement of the delay, Big Ant has confirmed that fellow Australian cricketer Pat Cummins take Paine's place on the cover.