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MCG confirmed as venue for next three Boxing Day Tests
A new venue hire agreement between the Melbourne Cricket Club (MCC) and Cricket Australia was announced today, covering the next three Boxing Day Tests through to 2022.
The 31st consecutive Boxing Day Test will be played at the MCG in December this year, with the three-year contract confirmed as Cricket Australia today unveiled its summer schedule - with the Boxing Day Test at the MCG to be the second of four Test matches to be played between Tim Paine’s Australians and Virat Kohli’s Indian team.
The MCG’s new deal with Cricket Australia ensures the 100,000-seat stadium will retain hosting rights to the showpiece Boxing Day Test until at least 2022. Australia is scheduled to host England in 2021 and South Africa in 2022.
It is hoped that as many as 25,000 fans will be able to attend this year’s Boxing Day Test, which would represent a quarter of the MCG’s capacity. Specific crowd numbers will be confirmed closer to the match, with Cricket Australia to work with the Melbourne Cricket Club (MCC) and the Victorian government on developing a COVID-safe plan to allow fans to attend the Test.
Cricket Australian Chairman Earl Eddings advised “Come Boxing Day, it will be 291 days since the MCG hosted Australia’s win in the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup final – we can’t wait to host another iconic match at the MCG.”
The Victorian Government, MCC and Cricket Australia will develop a rigorous COVIDSafe plan based on the most up-to-date public health advice to enable a limited number of fans to safely attend the Test this year.
The Border-Gavaskar Trophy is one of the most fiercely contested in cricket and as world number-one Australia will be seeking to take it back from the visitors this summer.
India won the last Boxing Day Test played between the two sides, in 2018 when victory confirmed it would retain the trophy.
Australia is scheduled to play home series against England in 2021 and South Africa in 2022.
Melbourne Cricket Club Chief Executive, Stuart Fox commented “the MCG hosted the first ever Test match in 1877 and holds a special place in the heart of cricket fans – we’re excited to be welcoming the Indian team this year and England and South Africa in the summers to follow.”
Victorian Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events, Martin Pakula notes “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.”
The first MCG Boxing Day Test was played in 1950, against England. Since 1980 there has been only one year – 1989 – which has not featured a post-Christmas Test match at the ground.
The Boxing Day Test joins a long list of marquee sporting events under contract to Victoria. The AFL Grand Final will be played at the MCG until at least 2058 while the Australian Open is locked in at Melbourne Park for another 16 years - until 2036.
Long-term contracts for the Formula One Australian Grand Prix at Albert Park (2025) and Australian MotoGP at Phillip Island (2026) are also in place.
Image: MCG Boxing Day Test 2019
15th September 2020 - Brisbane to host fans’ return to international cricket with women’s series
2nd September 2020 - MCG secures AFL Grand Final contract extension
8th August 2020 - Coronavirus impact sees Women’s Cricket World Cup pushed back to 2022
16th June 2020 - Kevin Roberts resigns as Cricket Australia Chief Executive
28th May 2020 - MCG ready to offer transformed turf for AFL return
8th March 2020 - MCG hosts T20 Women’s World Cup Final on International Women’s Day
29th February 2020 - Transformed Australian Sports Museum opens at the MCG
28th January 2020 - All Blacks Experience appoints Phil McGowan as Business Manager
28th December 2019 - MCG set to continue hosting of the Boxing Day Test
23rd December 2019 - Curator confident of MCG wicket quality for Boxing Day Test
20th December 2019 - MCG floodlights being upgraded with LED technology
9th December 2019 - MCG looks to boost sustainability with ban on plastic plates and cutlery
8th December 2019 - MCG Sheffield Shield game abandoned as pitch deemed unplayable
13th November 2019 - Victorians urged to fill the MCG for Women’s T20 World Cup final
31st October 2019 - $25 million investment in MCG audio upgrades designed to enhance fan experience
24th September 2019 - MCG to offer Australian first with 5G deployment at 2019 AFL Grand Final
11th September 2019 - MCG gains awards recognition for shortening fan wait times
3rd January 2019 - MCG set for $50 million upgrades in audio-visual and catering
24th September 2018 - Melbourne Cricket Club to undertake MCG ticketing review
1st August 2018 - MCC announces extended Ticketek partnership at MCG
19th July 2018 - MCG leads in industry recycling and sustainability initiatives
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