IND v AUS 2020: What is 'Boxing Day' in cricket?

A packed MCG on Boxing Day during the 2018-18 Ashes
A packed MCG on Boxing Day during the 2018-18 Ashes

After getting shot out for their lowest Test total of 36 and enduring a humiliating 8-wicket defeat in the opening Test against Australia in Adelaide, India will want to get back to winning ways in the Boxing Day Test, which starts on Saturday (December 26).

December 26, a day after Christmas, is celebrated as Boxing Day in the United Kingdom and Commonwealth nations including Australia, New Zealand, Canada, South Africa, among others.

One school of thought believes the name refers to the alms boxes (or poor boxes) in churches that used to be opened on that particular day. Another version says it originates from the boxes of gifts that were presented to servants for working on Christmas Day.

December 26 is also the feast day of St. Stephen, who is the patron saint of horses. This is the reason why the date sees several sporting events being held all over the world. The Melbourne Cricket Ground plays host to the Boxing Day Test match between Australia and the touring nation, from December 26 to 30 every year.

The first-ever Boxing Day Test took place between Australia and England in 1950. India have been a part of the historic contest at the MCG in 1985, 1991, 1999, 2003, 2007, 2011, 2014 and 2018. The second match in the ongoing Border-Gavaskar Trophy will be India’s ninth Boxing Day affair.

The Boxing Day Test is the highlight of the summer Down Under, with more than 80,000 people packing the stands of the MCG. A record 91,112 people were present at the venue on Boxing Day to witness the fourth Test of the 2013-14 Ashes.

Boxing Day Tests scheduled for 2020 (In IST)

Australia vs India: 2nd Test – Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne, Australia – 5:00 AM

New Zealand vs Pakistan: 1st Test – Bay Oval, Mount Maunganui, New Zealand – 3:30 AM

South Africa vs Sri Lanka: 1st Test – SuperSport Park, Centurion, South Africa – 1:30 PM


Edited by Sai Krishna
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