Cricket means summer as much as summer means cricket, and with the Ashes return leg here in Australia kicking off today it’s a gentle reminder that life is about to hit the beach and backyard that little bit more. But what about those rainy days, or when you’ve been sent off to the shops for milk and bread? Cricket?

A test match crowd re-created in

A test match crowd re-created in “Test Match” form

A couple of great reminders of the Summer of Cricket hit the EFTM inbox this week.

Cricket Australia Live app

Cricket Australia Live app

Cricket Australia have relaunched their “Cricket Australia Live” app direct from the old ACB to the public. In recent years the app came via Vodafone through their extensive but now ended partnership with the sport. The 2013 version of the app comes complete with everything you’d expect including live scores and profile information, news and even a shop, but add to that the ability to buy tickets and perhaps more importantly stream the TV coverage right to your phone and we’re really talking about the complete companion app now.

What was the “Vodafone Viewers Verdict” has now got its own place in the official Cricket app – Viewers Verdict will allow you interact with the TV coverage through votes and polls.

Cricket Australia Live app

Cricket Australia Live app

Everything in the app is free, except that is, for the live streaming. NRL and AFL apps in recent seasons have charged anywhere from $50 to $90 per season for streaming access, for Cricket Australia the price is just $20 for a full 365 access pass. Great value.

The app is available now in the iTunes and Google Play stores.

When the rain comes and reruns of F-Troop commence, what better way to enjoy the spirit of summer than with Test Match the board game.

Remember Freddie Trueman’s Test Match? It’s still available today, just without the fast bowler’s name on it. Available from Crown and Andrews, the Commonwealth Bank sent an edition to EFTM along with some fun recreations of classic cricketers and cricket moments we’ve pictured here.

BOONIE! re-created in

BOONIE! re-created in “Test Match” form

Comm Bank are promoting their long term support of Cricket in Australia including the Ashes, the Southern Stars, the Aussie Men’s Team, the Country Cricket Championships and Imparja cup. Plus this year they’ve launched the CommBank Cricket Club which offers you the chance to apply for money-can’t-buy experiences and access to Ashes tickets.

Shane Warne's

Shane Warne’s “Ball of the century” re-created in “Test Match” form

You have to say this game alone brings back great memories of summer at home, lining up the tiny plastic figurines, back in the day it was a ramp the ball would roll down which was replaced in the game in 2008 by overarm bowling and in 2013 features a heavier ball as standard.

I for one look forward to at least one rain day where we can pull out the Test Match mat and setup a quick game with the kids.

Sir Don Bradman re-created in

Sir Don Bradman re-created in “Test Match” form