Candice and David Warner lead the way as Aussie cricket stars celebrate Christmas with their families in the middle of the MCG in heartwarming scenes
- The Warners joined Pat Cummins, Scott Boland and their families on the MCG
- It’s tradition for Aussie stars, their partners and kids to spend the day together
- Cummins and wife Becky gave toddler son Albie a taste of the famous stadium
Australia’s cathedral of sport became a playground for the country’s top cricket stars and their families as they celebrated Christmas day on the turf of the MCG on Sunday morning.
Many fans and experts believe opening batter David Warner will be playing to save his Test career during the Boxing Day clash with South Africa on Monday, but just 24 hours beforehand he looked like he didn’t have a care in the world as he, wife Candice and their daughters had an impromptu game of cricket at one of the world’s most iconic stadiums.
They were joined by captain Pat Cummins, his wife Becky and their toddler son Albie, who enjoyed a piggyback from his father and a kick of a soccer on the hallowed ground as his mum watched over him.
David and Candice celebrated the big day by playing cricket with two of their daughters in the middle of the MCG on Sunday
It’s tradition for the Aussie stars and their families to get together at Australia’s sporting cathedral on December 25 and the opening batter and his wife made the most of it
Fast bowler Scott Boland, his wife Clarissa and their two children joined in the fun with spinner Nathan Lyon – and the man Boland beat out for a spot in the Boxing Day line-up, Josh Hazlewood, was also front and centre.
It’s a long-standing tradition for Australia’s cricketing families to celebrate Christmas together just ahead of the most popular Test on the country’s domestic calendar.
They often hold a big lunch on December 24, and Steve Smith explained how the big day proceeds when he was first called into the squad just before the Boxing Day clash in 2009.
Skipper Pat Cummins, his wife Becky and their toddler son Albie also got in on the action
It was tiny Albie’s second Christmas – but the first time he’d been able to go for a run on the hallowed turf where his dad will clash with South Africa on Monday
The captain recorded the big occasion while Warner and his daughters played in the background
‘We’ll all get together, except for the Victorian guys, who get to spend Christmas at home, and become one big family and enjoy each other’s company, share a terrific meal and exchange gifts,’ he wrote.
‘As a group we do our own version of Kris Kringle, where each player pulls a name out of a hat and buys a secret present for a teammate.’
This year Boland got the best present of all as he was named in the XI to face South Africa in the second Test of the series.
The Victorian quick will return to the scene of his famous Test debut last December, with Australia selectors opting for Boland over Josh Hazlewood, who continues his recovery from a side strain.
Captain Pat Cummins confirmed Australia would stick with the same XI that crushed the Proteas by six wickets in just two days in the first Test at the Gabba.
Fast bowler Scott Boland (pictured with wife Clarissa and their children) got the best Xmas present possible when he was named in the Aussie XI to face South Africa
Spinner Nathan Lyon (right) was on hand to pass on some batting tips on the big day
‘We gave Joshy every chance, it just got to a stage where Joshy more than anyone else probably thought he was a bit underdone,’ Cummins said at the MCG on Sunday.
‘It’s probably the mark of the man that he himself thought, ‘I don’t feel quite right’ and pulled himself out of selection.
‘We talk a lot about how it’s a squad mentality, and this is another great example.’
Boland has taken 25 wickets in his five Tests at the miserly average of 10.36.
The 33-year-old became an instant cult hero of Australian cricket when he ran through England with 6-7 at the MCG last year to secure man-of-the-match honours on debut to help Australia retain the Ashes.