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23 December 201306:53

A short history of the Boxing Day Test

A bumper Boxing Day crowd is expected for this year’s Ashes clash between Australia and England at the home of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 final, the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).

A short history of the Boxing Day Test - Cricket News

The MCG’s connection with Boxing Day cricket began in 1950

With Australia taking an unassailable 3-0 lead in the five-Test series, and all available tickets sold for Boxing Day, the crowd figure could eclipse the world record for crowd attendance at a single day of cricket.

The MCG’s connection with Boxing Day cricket began in 1950 and has become arguably the most popular day of the Australian cricketing summer.

The 100,000 plus capacity stadium has provided cricket fans with some unforgettable Boxing Day Test experiences over the past 53 years, and it will undoubtedly deliver a fantastic atmosphere for the ICC Cricket World Cup final on 29 March 2015, as it did in 1992 when Pakistan defeated England in front of a crowd of more than 87,000.

Here are just a few of the many memorable moments.

ENGLAND, JUST (1982): One of the all-time great Test matches. Australia started the final day with just one wicket in hand, needing 37 runs to win. Allan Border and Jeff Thomson put on 70 runs for the final wicket, but Australia fell three runs short of England.

FOUR-YEAR DROUGHT ENDS (1987): Australia tail-enders Craig McDermott and Mike Whitney batted the final 20 minutes to secure a draw against a Richard Hadlee-inspired New Zealand. The result gave Australia its first series win for four years, while Tony Dodemaide (50 and 6-58) impressed on debut and Hadlee collected 10 wickets in the match.

WEST INDIES TOO SLICK (1988): The West Indies crushed Australia by 285 runs on the back of a Richie Richardson century and some quality bowling from pace quartet Malcolm Marshall, Curtly Ambrose, Patrick Patterson and Courtney Walsh. Marshall claimed his 300th Test wicket on the final day.

HAT-TRICK SPUN (1994): Australia defeated England comfortably, as Shane Warne claimed a second innings hat-trick on his home ground. An incredible diving, one-handed catch from second innings centurion David Boon at short leg removed Devon Malcolm, the third victim of the hat-trick.

MURALI NO-BALL CALL (1995): 55,239 fans were at the MCG in 1995 when umpire Darrell Hair no-balled Sri Lanka off-spinner Muttiah Muralidaran seven times in three overs for throwing.

ENGLAND, JUST #2 (1998): Another narrow margin, and an unlikely England win after the first day’s play was completely washed out. Steve Waugh almost led Australia to victory, but Dean Headley (6-20) tore through Australia’s lower-order to snatch a 12-run win at 7.33pm on the final day.

SACHIN STARS (1999): One star shone as another was born. Sachin Tendulkar scored a brilliant 166 and backed it up with a second-innings 52, but Australia secured 180 runs victory on the back of a special debut from speedster Brett Lee (5-47 and 2-31).

700 FOR WARNE (2006): Legendary leggie Shane Warne farewelled his home ground in style, claiming his 700th Test wicket on Boxing Day. 89,155 people packed the stands on the opening day as Warne rattled the stumps of England opener Andrew Strauss.