Cricket Australia, the Melbourne Cricket Club, manager of the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), and the Victorian Government are pleased to announce a new three-year venue hire agreement for the MCG, starting with the 31st consecutive Boxing Day Test played in 2020.The MCG is locked in to host both international and domestic cricket for the next three summers.
The three-year contract was confirmed after today’s unveiling of this summer’s schedule – with confirmation the MCG will host the second of the four-match Vodafone Test Series between Australian and India on December 26-30.
According to the ICC Future Tours Program, Australia will host 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.
The Victorian Government, MCC and Cricket Australia will develop a COVIDSafe plan to enable members and fans to safely attend the Test.
Crowd numbers will be confirmed closer to the match, but will be capped at approximately 25,000 patrons – a quarter of the MCG’s capacity.
Melbourne Cricket Club Chief Executive Stuart Fox said it was pleasing to formally extend cricket’s association with the MCG for another three years.
“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,” Mr Fox said.
“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.”
Cricket Australia’s Chair Earl Eddings said it was great to have one of the most famous 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 8, so we can’t wait Victoria to host another iconic match at the MCG on Boxing Day,” Eddings said.
“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.”
Martin Pakula, Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events, said:
“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.”