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The world-famous landmark was bathed in green and gold tonight, with both the Ashes urn and the Women’s Ashes trophy taking centre stage, following Australia’s Test win to wrap up the Magellan Ashes Series at the Sydney Cricket Ground yesterday.
Australia now holds both Ashes trophies, the first time they have done so since 2003.
The Opera House sail lighting was a celebration not just of the performances of the men’s and women’s Australian teams but also of the incredible support shown by cricket fans across the country.
The Magellan Ashes Series was attended by 866,732 people around the country, making it the second most attended Australian Test series on record, after the 1936-37 Ashes series (948,498), demonstrating the huge interest Test cricket continues to command.
The Magellan Ashes Series followed the hugely successful Commonwealth Bank Women’s Ashes Series, which saw Australia retain the Ashes in a hotly contested drawn series.
The seven-match series was attended by 29,158 fans, while just over four million viewers tuned into the Nine Network’s broadcast of the series and 256,000 people followed the Test match via the livestream on the Cricket Network, with 4.5 million minutes watched online.
Commenting on the success of the men’s and women’s Ashes, Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland said:
“Our women’s and men’s cricketers have represented their country so impressively across the two Ashes series and I am sure cricket lovers around the country join me in commending them on securing both the women’s and men’s Ashes for Australia. We are immensely proud of their achievements and the way they have gone about their cricket.
“It has also been fantastic to see the level of support both series have received from fans across Australia and it reinforces the status of cricket as part of the fabric of the Australian summer. It would be remiss not to mention the thousands of visitors who have come from all parts of the world to support the England team. They have provided loyal and enthusiastic support - and we hope that this will not be their last visit to Australia.
“To have had more than 865,000 people attend the Magellan Ashes Series, the highest attendance since the 1936-37 Ashes, and millions more tune in to broadcasts around the country, demonstrates the enthusiasm the Australian public continues to have for Test cricket.
“Together with the ECB and other member countries of the ICC, we view the future of Test cricket with increasing optimism, we look forward to the commencement of the Test Championship in 2019, and are committed to ensuring the primacy of this most traditional format of the game.