Boxing Day schedule for cricket
26th December is known in many countries as Boxing Day. The term originated in the United Kingdom.
Fixtures starting on 26th December are traditionally called the Boxing Day match. Historically, the Boxing Day Test match is the test played between Australia and the touring team in Melbourne.
Initially, the play on 26th December was called as the Boxing Day play. During the 1950-51 Ashes, the Aussies host England in Melbourne from 22 to 27 December. The fourth day's play, i.e., 26th December 1950 was the Boxing Day play.
Similarly, New Zealand plays their annual Boxing Day Test match by hosting an international side at Basin Reserve in Wellington. The Kiwis have switched to a One Day International(ODI) or Twenty20 against the touring team for the Boxing Day fixture.
For South Africa, the Boxing Day Test match is played between them and the visitors at Kingsmead cricket ground in Durban. Unlike the Black Caps, the Proteas prefer the extended format over the shorter versions of the game on the traditional holiday.
The schedule for this year Boxing Day i.e. 26th December 2017 is as below:
Australia versus England, 4th Test of Ashes 2017/18
Australia will host England in the fourth Test match of the five-match Test series at Melbourne Cricket Ground(MCG).
The Aussies have regained the urn by winning the first three Test matches. They will be trying to prove their superiority by white-washing the opposition. Left-arm speedster Mitchell Starc is out with an injury. Jackie Bird will share the new ball in his absence.
Joe Root has asked his men to consider the remaining two Test matches as a new series and make the scoreline 3-2.
New Zealand versus West Indies, 3rd ODI, West Indies tour of New Zealand 2017/18
The Kiwis are all set to host West Indies for the third and final ODI of the series at Christchurch.
New Zealand has an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series. Trent Boult's career-best seven-wicket haul sealed the match for the hosts. In reply to the Kiwis' total of 325, the visitors could manage a paltry 121 runs.
West Indies coach Stuart Law came down heavily on his team after the latest defeat. It was the 15th ODI defeat of the year for West Indies. He asked his team to walk the talk.
South Africa versus Zimbabwe, Only Test, Zimbabwe tour of South Africa 2017
South Africa will host Zimbabwe for the inaugural four-day day-night Test match at St. George Park in Port Elizabeth.
Ever since the inception of various Twenty20 leagues across the world, the ICC is experimenting in Test matches for keeping the longest format exciting and relevant. Fans and experts are waiting eagerly to see the impact of new changes on the game.
South African skipper Faf du Plessis is suffering from viral infection and is doubtful to start. Dale Steyn and AB de Villiers could play together for the Proteas in nearly two years. The Test could be the ideal preparation for the hosts to gauge the form and fitness of the players before playing India.