The stage is ready for welcoming the Ashes to get underway. It will all be beginning from December 8 and the wait has come to an end now. Well, so much has happened in the last few months and fans were afraid that England at the last moment would not be able to make it. The team of England even threatened to pull out of the tour as the quarantine restrictions were high and strict in Australia’s different states.
Nevertheless, Cricket Australia and England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) spoke out details to finally get to a conclusion and go-ahead for the most awaited series for the fans who have been eagerly looking forward to it. Talking about it, there is one more delightful news for the cricket fans and that is that all the restrictions on the gatherings in Melbourne are no more. Yes, there would be no restrictions applied this time and it confirms that the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) will host the marquee Boxing Day Test that too in front of a full house for sure.
The stadium is ready now to accept around 1 lakh as the seating capacity is high now and also the expectations to be fully packed this time is very high for the test match. Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews spoke in a media briefing saying that there will no longer be any capping on the gatherings in the state. It is effective from 11:59 PM local time on Thursday, from November 18 onwards. “Whether it’s 100,000 people at the MCG on Boxing Day or a smaller group of people standing up at the … local pub, this is the COVID-normal that every Victorian has built,” he stated.
Talking about last year, MCG had only 30,000 people per day attending the matches. Major sports in Australia have taken a hit in terms of revenues after the spread of the COVID-19 in different states. Team India played their entire tour of Australia in a strict bio-bubble. It was during the restriction over the number of spectators allowed as well. Last year the Boxing Day Test scheduled between India and Australia had only 30,000 as that was the limit set at the MCG.
To make a note of the stadium is hugely built and thus last year it seemed like it was largely empty. However, this year, this time the things are different and it won’t be the case around. Many sources claim and expect MCG to be filled like the last time it was for the final of the Women’s T20 World Cup. The match was scheduled between India and Australia that happened on March 8, 2020. England’s Test squad has already reached Australia with a few training sessions while some others are in quarantine currently. They have reached the country after appearing in the T20 World Cup. It was played in the UAE.