What is boxing day match?
Boxing Day Test refers to the test match played on the December 26 at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground. It is also played in South Africa amd New Zealand. But what actually Boxing Day is. Does it relate to punching or boxing? Let’s find out.
December 26, i.e. a day after the Christmas, came to be known as Boxing Day because on this day people meet their family and friends and share gifts with them packed in boxes.
History of Boxing Day and cricket dates back to 1892 from a Sheffield Shield match between Victoria and New South Wales at the renowned Melbourne Cricket Ground(MCG) over Christmas. The upshot of this was that New South Wales players could not celebrate Christmas with their families. Thus, the Melbourne Test was usually held over the New Year period, often starting on January 1.
Now it all started in the 1950-51 Ashes series where the third test was played at Melbourne from December 22 to 27, with the fourth day of the game falling in the Boxing Day. In 1952 also the second test, against South Africa, was played at Melbourne from December 24 to 30, where the third day’s play was held on the Boxing Day.
But then came a halt as no test match was played on the Boxing Day between 1953 and 1973 except in 1968 when the West Indies toured Australia and played the second test of the series at Melbourne from December 26 to 30.
It was the Ashes series again in 1974 when the test match started on the Boxing Day at Melbourne from December 26 to 31 and in the subsequent year, 1975, as well it was played against West Indies starting on the Boxing Day(December 26 -30).
In 1980, Melbourne Cricket Ground(MCG) secured the exclusive rights to host a Boxing Day Test in Australia and till date has witnessed the test match on the Boxing Day every year except in 1989 where it held a Boxing Day ODI. Also since 1980, only 1984, 1988, 1989 and 1994 are the years where the test match did not start on the Boxing Day.
The next awaited 2nd test match between India and Australia in the on-going Gavaskar-Border series is tomo i.e.: 27th Dec 2020, the Boxing Day Match. who do you think will win this contest?? Leave your comments and feedback. 5days to go before we know the results.
– Guest Article by Utkarsh Tandon( content- go beyond sports)