Goodbye to the Boxing Day MCG test? Melbourne’s long sporting tradition in jeopardy as Perth tries to snatch the coveted cricket date
- The agreement to host the match with the MCG and Cricket Australia expired
- The MCG has hosted the Boxing Day Test since 1980 and plans to keep it
- Perth have built a new stadium and are hoping to poach the test match
The 40-year tradition of the Boxing Day Test being held at the Melbourne Cricket Ground could be about to end as Perth tries to poach the date.
A long term agreement between Cricket Australia and the MCG to host the game expired last summer and other states are keen to take the highly anticipated event for their own.
Negotiations for a long-term deal to keep the game at the MCG had not progressed, with only an interim arrangement for this year, as reported by The Age.
The MCG pitch recently received backlash after it was labelled sub par but the state is determined to keep one of the country’s favourite summer sporting events alive.
The MCG (pictured) has hosted the Boxing Day Test match since 1980 in an agreement with Cricket Australia
The MCG had been hosting the post-Christmas game since 1980, with bumper crowds for the high-profile tests against the likes of England and India.
Australia is set to take on New Zealand at the MCG this summer with fears this could be the last time but the Melbourne Cricket Club remain positive that a long term agreement would be put in place.
Perth’s new $1.6billion Optus Stadium has its eyes on the Boxing Day Test and could offer more attractive terms than the MCG.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews remained adamant Victoria would keep the event, criticising Perth’s attempts to steal it.
With the expiration of the deal for the MCG to host the match, Perth are hoping to steal the event for themselves (pictured is the Western Australia Cricket Association in Perth)
‘Perth want the (AFL) grand final and we have made sure that is not happening until 2057. The Boxing Day Test, outside of Melbourne, really, c’mon. That can’t be serious, surely,’ he said.
Mr Andrews said Perth’s new stadium was desperate to attract big events to pay off the huge construction costs.
‘They built this brand new stadium but they have got no events to run in it. It’s why they want to steal all the wonderful events Victoria is famous for,’ Mr Andrews said.
‘I am pretty confident the Boxing Day Test will be staying where it has always been and where it always will be – here at the mighty MCG.’
Perth’s attempts to take the match weren’t the only issue after the MCG pitch was criticised last summer as it was too slow and flat, providing little life for bowlers and batters.
The MCG pitch was recently criticised for having a slow and flat surface that offered little excitement in a game
The surface made it hard to bat and bounce the ball, leaving players and fans fed up with a boring game.
If the pitch is poorly received again this summer, it would hurt the MCG’s chances of hosting the most high-profile test on the calendar.
Cricket Australia is yet to confirm another deal with the MCG but is reportedly undergoing negotiations.