Amazon Acquires Sports Doc Series 'The Test' As Its Latest Australian Original

Steve Smith - Getty - H 2019
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The eight-part series tells the story of the Australian cricket team's fall from international grace during the ball-tampering scandal in South Africa in 2018 and its subsequent journey of redemption.

Amazon has acquired the sports documentary The Test: A New Era for Australia’s Team, an eight-part series that charts the fall of the Australian men's cricket team following the ball-tampering scandal, dubbed "sandpapergate," that saw them become the pariah of the international game two years ago and the team’s subsequent journey to redemption. 

The behind-the-scenes series, which will air in early 2020, provides unprecedented access to the players involved during the nadir of sandpapergate in South Africa in March 2018, telling the story of the fallout of a ball-tampering saga that led to international condemnation and the suspension of three key players, including the captain, Steve Smith.

The doc also follows the team in the difficult rebuilding period after sandpapergate, including Australia losing at home against India for the first time ever and the team’s return to the top of the game with a respectable performance in the Cricket World Cup, as well as retaining the Ashes trophy away from England. 

“As we continue to increase production of Australian Amazon Original series, our goal is to tell local stories that resonate with our Prime members and we believe that The Test will do just that,” said James Farrell, vp international originals at Amazon Studios. 

“Our national team, led by Tim Paine, Aaron Finch and Justin Langer, have been on a considerable journey over the past 18 months,” said Richard Ostroff, head of broadcast and production at Cricket Australia. “The Test has captured the highs and lows of this story intimately and we are thrilled to work with Amazon Prime Video to bring this story to cricket fans around the world.”

The Test is produced by Cricket Australia Films in partnership with Australian production company Whooshka Media, and directed by Adrian Brown. It will air in Australia on Amazon Prime Video and will be available in more than 200 countries and territories in early 2020.

The Test joins the growing lineup of Australian Amazon Original series, including LOL: Last One Laughing, hosted and executive produced by Rebel Wilson, which filmed in October in Sydney and a series of 10 Australian Amazon Original stand-up comedy specials featuring Australian comedians including Tom Gleeson, Judith Lucy, Celia Pacquola and Tommy Little.