‘The G’ locked in to stage cricket tourneys


Australia MCG continues with test cricket Image: MJR Group Ltd./Coliseum

Cricket Australia (the national governing body for the game in Australia), the Melbourne Cricket Club, Manager of the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), and the Victorian Government have announced a new three-year venue hire agreement for the MCG, starting with the 31st consecutive Boxing Day Test played in 2020.

The Boxing Day Test match is a cricket Test match held in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia involving the Australian cricket team and an opposing national team that is touring Australia during the southern summer. It begins annually on Boxing Day (December 26th) and is played at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).

The Melbourne Cricket Ground, also known colloquially as ‘The G’, is an Australian sports stadium located in Yarra Park, Melbourne, Victoria (Australia).

The MCG is locked in to host both international and domestic cricket for the next three summers.

The three-year contract was confirmed after unveiling of this summer’s schedule on October 28th – with confirmation the MCG will host the second of the four-match Vodafone Test Series between Australia and India from December 26th -30th.

According to the ICC Future Tours Program, Australia will play host to England in 2021 and South Africa in 2022.

The first MCG Boxing Day Test was played in 1950 against England. Since 1980 there has been only one year – 1989 where a one-day international was played instead – which has not featured a post-Christmas Test match at the venue.

A COVIDSafe plan will be developed by the Victorian Government, Melbourne Cricket Club and Cricket Australia to allow members and supporters to safely attend the Test.

How much onlookers will be allowed will be confirmed once match day nears, but will be capped at approximately 25,000 patrons – a quarter of the MCG’s capacity.

Melbourne Cricket Club Chief Executive Stuart Fox said formally extending cricket’s association with the MCG for another three years was a welcome decision.

Commented Fox, “The MCG began its life as the Melbourne Cricket Club’s home ground in 1838, before moving to its current site in 1853 and has been home to a lot of firsts in the game of cricket – from hosting the first ever Test match in 1877 between Australia and England, to the first century scored in Test cricket by Charles Bannerman, to hosting the first ever one-day international cricket match in January 1971.”

“It’s pleasing that Victorian, Australian and international fans will be able to experience the magic of cricket at the MCG for a further three years. Under our new COVIDSafe protocols, we’re working closely with the Victorian Government and Cricket Australia to host this year’s Boxing Day Test at the MCG,” Fox added.

Cricket Australia’s Chair Earl Eddings said it was great to have one of the most famous and legendary cricket grounds in the world confirmed to host matches for the next three summers.

“Come Boxing Day, it will be 291 days since the MCG last hosted crowds for Australia’s win in the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Final on March 8th , so we can’t wait for Victoria to host another iconic match at the MCG on Boxing Day,” Eddings commented.

Eddings added, “The Border-Gavaskar Trophy is one of the prestigious trophies in Test cricket, and it’ll be fascinating to see the contest between Justin and Tim’s men against a very talented Indian side. Looking forward, it’ll be fantastic to see the highly anticipated Ashes series return to Melbourne for what’s going to be another brilliant Test series.”

Maintained Martin Pakula, Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events, “Melbourne is Australia’s unchallenged sporting and events capital and the Boxing Day Test is one of the cornerstones of our renowned annual calendar. This has been a tough year and it will be just reward for many to have the opportunity to watch the Aussies take on India at our cathedral of sport. And to have the fixture locked in until 2022 is fantastic.”

Allan Robert Border AO is an Australian cricket commentator and former international cricketer. A batsman, Border was for many years the captain of the Australian team. His playing nickname was ‘A.B.’. He played 156 Test matches in his career, a record until it was passed by fellow Australian Steve Waugh.

Sunil Manohar Gavaskar, often known as Sunny Gavaskar, is an Indian cricket commentator and former cricketer representing India and Bombay from the early 1970s to the late 1980s. Widely regarded as one of the greatest Test batsmen and best opening batsmen in Test cricket history, Gavaskar set world records during his career for the most Test runs and most Test centuries scored by any batsman. He held the record of 34 Test centuries for almost two decades before it was broken by Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar in December 2005. Both Border and Gavaskar are cricketing legends.

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