Boxing Day Test at MCG could be played in front of a crowd

Boxing Day Test MCG

Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews has expressed confidence in the State’s ability to stage the Boxing Day Test between Australia and India in front of a crowd.

Andrews couldn’t say how big that crowd would be or what measures would be taken to ensure social distancing but was hopeful that the traditional match would go ahead.

Crowds likely at Boxing Day Test

The tour currently awaits final approval from the Indian authorities before it can go ahead, but it has been agreed that the tourists and Australian players returning from the IPL will quarantine in New South Wales.

Crowds of more than 30,000 have attended sporting events in Australia this month in AFL and Rugby League.

Melbourne has finally seen its lockdown lifted and the hosting of the Boxing Day Test would provide a shot in the arm for cricket in the region.

“I am very confident that we will get a crowd at the MCG for the Boxing Day Test,” Andrews told reporters. “I don’t know how big it will be but there will be a crowd. That’s the advice that I have, that’s what we’re working towards.”

If the MCG is unable to host the Test, the Adelaide Oval will step in as cover.

BCCI stamp of approval

 BCCI president Sourav Ganguly said on Monday 26 October that the board’s approval for the trip was imminent with a few issues being ironed out.

“So far it is ahead,” he told Fairfax newspapers. “The initial part will be in Sydney. We are still in discussions about how to get the bio part and medical parts stronger because it’s a long tour but I am told Australia is Covid free at the moment, there aren’t many cases. Basically, we are trying to get everything in place and make sure it is safe. That’s all.” 

The India tour to Australia will start with ODIs and T20Is played from 27 November at the SCG in Sydney and the Manuka Oval in Canberra. 

The four-match Test series, considered the main event of the tour, will then get underway in Adelaide with a day-night match, followed by Melbourne, Sydney and then Brisbane in mid-January.