World News – UA – Hopeful Victorian government crowds of up to 25,000 to witness Boxing Day test at MCG


Victorian government says it expects a crowd of around 25,000 spectators to attend the Boxing Day Test play between Australia and India each day at the MCG

The state government announcement follows confirmation by Cricket Australia (CA) that the traditional Boxing Day test would be played in Melbourne at the MCG, to boost morale in the Victorian capital, which was so hard hit by COVID-19

Crowd capacity will be confirmed closer to the match, but the Victorian government is hoping it will be limited to around 25,000 spectators, or a quarter of the MCG’s capacity

The Victorian government, California and the Melbourne Cricket Club (MCC) will develop a « COVIDSafe » plan to allow spectators to watch the test safely

« We have been very clear with Cricket Australia and MCC, but we will make a final decision on the numbers closer to the day

« There has been a lot of engagement between Cricket Australia and the (Victorian) Public Health Team and at this point this is what we believe to be the safe and appropriate number per day at MCG

« It will probably be a while before we see 100,000 people at the CWM, but I think since we haven’t had a crowd for so long, it’s a very good start »

M Pakula said confirmation that MCG will hold Boxing Day test was just a reward for Victorians, who had been living under COVID-19 restrictions for months

« The last time we were here with a crowd was for the T20 Women’s World Cup final where we had some 86,000 people here [at the MCG]

« To have confirmation that the Boxing Day Test will be back here at the MCG, I think it’s a big boon for cricket but also for the Victorians who have done so much to bring our numbers down (COVID test- 19 positive) because they have over the last few months « 

CA and MCC also announced that they have negotiated a new deal that will see the MCG host the Boxing Day Test until 2022

The Border-Gavaskar test series against India will start with a day-night test in Adelaide on December 17

The SCG will host the third test on January 7, while Brisbane, which was originally intended to host the series opener, will now host the fourth at the Gabba on January 15

India is due to arrive in Sydney on November 12 and will be quarantined in a hotel for two weeks at Sydney Olympic Park, where the team can also train

Australian cricketers currently playing in the Indian Premier League, including Steve Smith and David Warner, will also be quarantined

« Australia and India represent one of the great rivalries in global sport and we are delighted to welcome the remarkable team of Virat Kohli to the Australian shores this summer, » said Nick Hockley, director of interim Cricket Australia

Once out of quarantine, the Indians will face Australia in three one-day international matches on November 27-29 at SCG and on December 2 at Canberra’s Manuka Oval

The two teams will then play a T20 International at Manuka on December 4th, before returning to Sydney for two more T20s at SCG on December 6th and 8th.

The Border-Gavaskar series resumes at the end of T20 after touring match against Australia A at SCG December 11-13

India won the last Border-Gavaskar series to be played on Australian coasts 2-1 in the 2018/19 season

The series was Tim Paine’s first as a skipper and did not feature Steve Smith or David Warner, who were banned for their role in the ball tampering scandal

This service may include material from Agence France-Presse (AFP), APTN, Reuters, AAP, CNN and the BBC World Service which is copyrighted and may not be reproduced

AEST = Australian Eastern Standard Time, which is 10 hours ahead of GMT (Greenwich Mean Time)

Indian National Cricket Team, Australian Men’s Cricket Team, Cricket Test, Rohit Sharma, Indian Premier League, Mumbai Indians, One Day International, India Cricket Control Board

World News – UA – Hopeful crowds of Victorian government of up to 25,000 to witness Boxing Day test at MCG


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