Sydney, Cricket Australia
Sydney Cricket Ground [Photo-Google]

The iconic Sydney Cricket Ground [SCG] could well host both the Boxing Day and New Year Tests of the upcoming Test series between Australia and India.

India is set to lock horns with Australia in a four-match Test series when Virat Kohli’s men travel Down Under later this year. The much-awaited four-match series is originally scheduled to kickstart at the Gabba in Brisbane from December 03 followed by the Pink Ball Test at the Adelaide Oval and then the traditional Boxing Day and New Year Test at Melbourne and Sydney.

MCG [Photo-Getty Images]
But with Victoria reporting a surge in Covid-19 cases, chances are that Melbourne might not host the traditional Boxing Day Test. Boxing Day is traditionally celebrated in southern hemisphere countries, one day after Christmas. In Australia, the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground hosts the traditional Boxing Day Test with more than 90000 fans thronging to the stadium every year to witness the marquee occasion.

But thanks to Covid-19, Melbourne might not host the Boxing Day Test and in the past few days, new contenders have emerged for the same. The Optus Stadium in Perth, which had missed out on hosting the India-Australia Test was initially expected to replace Melbourne as the potential venue,  and while the likes of Adelaide Oval is still expected to be the first choice venue considering the availability of on-site hotel, the Sydney Cricket Ground have also made its intentions pretty clear about hosting the marquee Test.

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Will SCG host the Boxing Day Test between Australia and India this year?

SCG (Credits – Getty)

Tony Shephard, SCG Trust Chairman, has said that while it might take some effort to host back-to-back Tests, he is confident of pulling out all the stops. He also added that given the huge presence of the Indian diaspora in Sydney,  the prospect of holding back-to-back Tests at the iconic venue promises to garner a lot of popularity. And, so much so, that they even begun the pitch preparations in case the Boxing Day Test is allotted to them.

“We’d be very happy to host it because it’s a major event and it’s good for Sydney, and people like coming to Sydney, and we have the capacity to host it if that’s what Cricket Australia want to do,” SCG Trust chairman Tony Shepherd told the Sydney Morning Herald.

“It would mean they would have to delay our Test if it went for five days through to December 30. We’ll need a six-day period to get the oval ready. For a Test match it has to be perfect, you can’t have second-grade stuff,” he said.

”That would be the issue for us – when do we start our own Test? You really do need a good six days’ clear time with a bit of sun in summer to get the oval and pitch ready. Our Test we want to retain because it’s special for us. Thousands of our country members come to Sydney for that event and stay. It’s a great tradition for us. They would love both events, a double-header would be fabulous.” he added.

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Yash Mittal

Just a student of this beautiful game called cricket. Writer. Storyteller.