Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews has claimed that there is a high possibility that the Boxing Day Test between India and Australia might oversee spectators, given the improved Covid-19 condition in Victoria. Australia has already started allowing ‘limited’ spectators in other cricketing events.
While it’s all but a certainty that the Border-Gavaskar Trophy between Australia and India will start at a later date instead of the originally proposed December 3, the delay could turn out to be a boon for those involved in the sport, including the fans. While initially, there were concerns over the likelihood of the Boxing Day Test happening at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) due to Covid-19 cases multiplying in the state of Victoria, it is now believed that, aside from hosting the crunch clash, the MCG could even oversee spectators at the stadium.
According to Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews, “there will be a crowd” at the MCG in the Boxing Day clash between Australia and India, although there is no guarantee as to how many people will be accommodated at the stadium.
"I am very confident that we will get a crowd at the MCG for the Boxing Day Test," Andrews was quoted as saying by ESPN Cricinfo.
"I don't know how big it will be but there will be a crowd. That's the advice that I have, that's what we're working towards."
This could very well be a possibility as the Australian government has started allowing spectators to stadiums in a plethora of sports, including cricket. The recently concluded series between Australia Women and New Zealand women, which was played at the Allan Border Field in Brisbane, saw crowds fill the stadium with 50% capacity and spectators have also been allowed to watch a host of Sheffield Shield and Women’s Big Bash League matches.
Although there has been no official confirmation on the itinerary, India’s tour of Australia is expected to kick-off towards the back end of November with limited-over games, after which the Tests are slated to begin in mid or late December. Adelaide is expected to host the first Test, a day-night affair, after which the teams will move to Victoria for the Boxing Day Test, before rounding off the tour in Brisbane and Sydney in January.