Ashes 2021-22: MCG set to host Boxing Day Test in front of a full house

Boxing day

The stage is set for the Ashes to get underway with its full might from December 8. A lot has happened over the last few months with England even threatening to pull out of the tour due to quarantine restrictions and strict bubble in Australia’s different states. However, Cricket Australia and England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) worked out details to finally get a go ahead for the much-awaited series down under.

Meanwhile, in yet another delightful news for the fans, all the restrictions on the gatherings in Melbourne have been removed. This confirms that the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) will host the marquee Boxing Day Test in front of a full house. The stadium holds a seating capacity of around 1 lakh and expect it to be jam packed for the Test match now.

Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews said in a media briefing that there will be no longer any capping on the gatherings in the state effective from 11:59 PM local time on Thursday (November 18). “Whether it’s 100,000 people at the MCG on Boxing Day or a smaller group of people standing up at the … local pub, this is the COVID-normal that every Victorian has built,” he said.

MCG witnessed only 30,000 people per day last year

Major sports in Australia has taken a hit in terms of revenues ever since COVID-19 virus broke out. India played their whole tour of Australia in a strict bio-bubble while there was restriction over the number of spectators allowed as well. During the Boxing Day Test last year between India and Australia, only 30,000 spectators were allowed at the MCG and given that its hugely built, the stadium seemed to be largely empty.

However, that won’t be the case this time around and expect MCG to be filled like last time it was for the final of Women’s T20 World Cup between India and Australia on March 8, 2020. England’s Test squad is already in Australia with a few training while some others are in quarantine having reached the country after featuring in the T20 World Cup that was played in the UAE.