The Victorian government and Cricket Australia have confirmed that India will be playing four Test matches on their upcoming tour to Australia, with the iconic Boxing Day Test to be held at Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).
The upcoming Boxing Day Test between Australia and India during the Border-Gavaskar Trophy is all set to welcome the crowd of cricket fans at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).
- India will be playing four Test matches on their upcoming tour to Australia.
- MCG is all set to welcome cricket fans with the crowd capacity to be announced closer to the match, but will be capped at around 25,000.
- The Victorian government will formulate a strict COVIDSafe plan to safely facilitate the spectators.
Considering the current situation, the Victorian government along with Melbourne Cricket Club (MCC) and Cricket Australia have also confirmed to formulate a strict COVIDSafe plan to safely facilitate the spectators that will be based on the most up-to-date public health advice.
This announcement came after Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews announced a significant easing of the state's lockdown conditions.
This has been a tough year and it will be just a reward
In a statement the Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events, Mr Martin Pakula 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.”
The exact number of spectators to be hosted by MCG will be confirmed closer to the match but will be capped at around 25,000 people, which is a quarter of the MCG's total capacity.
Abhinav Bhatia who is a head cricket coach at Coomoora cricket club and have previously played Victorian Premier Cricket from Ringwood Cricket Club says that Boxing day match between India and Australia will serve as a great confidence booster among local sports enthusiasts.
Mr Bhatia said, "Boxing day test match and opening up of restrictions is amazing for local community and sport lovers. COVID-19 has been emotionally draining for the local sports community,"
"Being a cricket coach myself, opening up of restrictions has served massive boost and excitement for local sports enthusiasts," said Mr Bhatia.
Sydney based Mr Gurnam Singh, who is a community ambassador for Cricket Australia and also runs Australian Indian Sports Educational and Cultural Society (AISECS), says Victoria has gone through a really tough time recently, but now it is the time for Victoria to get back to normal and witness a good cricket game this summer.
Mr Singh said, “It is a great initiative by the government and Cricket Australia since MCG has its uniqueness of Boxing Day Test match.”
“We were also waiting for this moment as Border-Gavaskar Test is a major series for both Australia and India and it's going to be a first international match post COVID-19. “
“Now, Victoria will also be getting back to normal and the community will witness a good cricket game this summer,” said Mr Singh.
The battle for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy will begin with a day-night encounter at the Adelaide Oval on December 17, followed by Tests at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (December 26), the Sydney Cricket Ground (January 7) and the Gabba (January 15).
Earlier today, Cricket Australia announced the following squad for the ODI series:
Aaron Finch (c)
Pat Cummins (vc)
People in Australia must stay at least 1.5 metres away from others. Check your state’s restrictions on gathering limits.
If you are experiencing cold or flu symptoms, stay home and arrange a test by calling your doctor or contact the Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080.
News and information is available in 63 languages at sbs.com.au/coronavirus