Having David Warner play Nathan Lyon at the Test Match board game seems a perfectly reasonable way to promote series two of The Test on Amazon Prime

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Say what you like about tax-dodging symbol of the horrors of modern global commerce, Amazon, it knows how to promote a documentary series about the Australia Test cricket team.

Series one of Amazon Prime’s The Test was notable for footage of Justin Langer kicking a bin over, among other things. Next week series two becomes available. We imagine it’ll begin with Langer’s and Tim Paine’s departures.

Amazon have this week seen fit to promote the show with a promotional video in which David Warner plays Nathan Lyon at the board game Test Match (one of the few things with a name as uselessly ungoogleable as The Test).

This is a very exciting thing.

It’s not exciting to see which of them wins, because Test Match is not a game of victory and defeat. Test Match is a game of desperately trying to make things semi-work in the face of the game’s own massive failings.

So what’s actually exciting is to see precisely how the game has moved on in the 30-odd years since we last played it.

And let us tell you right now, Test Match has moved on MASSIVELY.

Back in our day, the bowler would deliver the ball (bearing) down a chute. Nowadays, he actually flings the thing via a p’twang mechanism.

This literally adds a whole new dimension to the game because previously the ball remained on the deck. This whole new dimension presumably reduces the likelihood of batter hitting ball or bowler hitting stumps considerably, thus making plausible cricket action even harder to engineer.

It is therefore no great surprise that gameplay is apparently largely shaped by byes. SHAMEFUL CHEAT David Warner even goes so far as to try and claim byes when the ball is stopped by a slip fielder within the two runs zone.

When runs are achieved, they are generally scored by picking up the batter and plinth and basically wielding the entire contraption as a bat.

For example, we can exclusively reveal that one of Warner’s fours actually came of the batter’s face.

Apparently a little less willing to sacrifice others for his own personal glory, Lyon was unable to match Warner’s run tally and lost the match.

There is further controversy here though because at one point Lyon’s batter is given caught behind off the glove and it definitely looks like arm to us (albeit the ball is massive relative to the batter and could therefore have hit both upper arm and glove simultaneously).

You can watch the highlights here.

Here’s a thing we did about another of the highlights from series one of The Test: How Adam Zampa and Marcus Stoinis are pissing away the great legacy of David Boon.


  1. That looks rubbish and I can’t agree with you writing off Test Match so flippantly.
    Equally flippantly, I’ll say Test Match is brilliant.
    Not sure about this new version but if they were playing the original, Lyon should have packed the area from mid on to extra cover. The ball never goes to short leg.
    But, in his defence, they’re not playing the old version.

  2. All the figures visible are white. In my youth, I painted two fielders to resemble the two West Indians that most county sides had.

  3. English readers may not be aware but Fitzy is one of the more annoying Australian media ‘personalities’ (in a crowded field).

  4. Subbuteo cricket of my era was, if I might be so bold as to assert, significantly better than the Aussie game depicted.

    There follows an essay on the topic.


    The bowling was a sort of catapult, but one which required the player to flick, in a Subbuteo-like manner. The problem, in my experience, was the lack of bounce achieved when the surface (underneath the felt overlay provided by Subbuteo) was my bedroom carpet.

    Match reports might well follow in a year or more’s time, if there are references in my juvenile diaries. Naturally there is a 50 year rule regarding the publication of such sensitive material.

    1. We had Subbuteo Rugby. Essentially it was Subbuteo Football with an oval ball, but it did have some nice features. The scrum device was a piece of plastic genius.

      There are some highlights of a match on this clip. I’m not sure what is going on in the first half – defending seems to be non-existent. In the second half the defending actually starts happening, giving a full understanding of the tactics of the game. It was fairly balanced between attack and defence.

      Players were free to choose which code they were playing, although given the lack of rucks an attack in a game of union was effectively unstoppable. Some tackle limit was required.

      I’m not convinced about the goal kicks though; a little creative editing maybe? If genuine they are likely to be the only successful goal kicks ever achieved in Subbuteo Rugby. The first one went (nearly) straight into the burger stand and out again. Nice naming of the burger stand as well; not a Subbuteo standard item I feel.

  5. Am I the only person who’s played Test Match? That would be quite a niche in a rather niche group.

    1. Oh my goodness that YouTube clip of the Subbuteo cricket is simply awesome.

      The rugby one not far behind. I did play that rugby game, although I never really got it (much as I never really got rugby proper), although i did really like that plastic scum contraption. Far more civilised than the real thing.

      As for the Test Match version of Subbuteo cricket, Stuart, I do remember playing it at someone’s house but cannot remember which boy in our street had it. This might be a false memory, but it might very well have been a bot named Stuart. You aren’t by any chance Stuart Harris (no relation) from t’other end of t’street, are you, Stuart?

      Anyway, I seem to recall that the difference between Club Version and Test Match Version was really to do with the frippery that surrounded the game, not really the game itself. Utilitarian with regard to such matters even from an early age, I didn’t see the point of the posher version, but perhaps there were additional features that passed me by or that I have forgotten.

      1. Not a bot named Stuart (bots hadn’t been invented) – I mean boy. I think it was Stuart-down-t’other-end-of-our-street who had the rugby Subbuteo too.

  6. Yes.

    GED, I’m not talking about a version of Subbuteo cricket, but the actual Test Match game featured in the main piece. Mine has Fred Trueman in chunky England sweater on the box which was an interesting marketing choice in 1978. Indoor League was still pretty big I suppose (probably on YouTube somewhere – Fred hosted a series of pub game competitions).
    I did live down the road, well, a road.

    1. Delighted to learn that you lived down a road but not my road. Stuart’s dad was named Nathan and known as Naff, so that family was known in the street as “The Naff Harris Family” to distinguish them from our family. The Naff Harris house was at the posh end of the road. As a teenager I tried to cultivate a contrasting sobriquet for our household, “The Cool Harris Family”, but for reasons I still cannot figure out, I couldn’t get that idea to take off.

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