Not a great start for Hamish Bennett in New Zealand’s first game back from the COVID-19 break!
A crowd at the MCG for the Boxing Day Test has all but been guaranteed by Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews as the state’s coronavirus restrictions were significantly eased.
After more than four months of a hard lockdown, Melbourne will start to open up after no COVID-19 cases were recorded in Victoria on Monday.
Cricket Australia is yet to lock in its international schedule for this summer which is highlighted by a blockbuster four-Test series against India.
Premier Andrews said restrictions being lifted meant it was too late for crowds to attend next month’s Melbourne Cup, but not for the biggest day in Australian cricket.
“The Boxing Day Test of course is very different because that is some way off,” he told reporters.
“I am very confident that we will get a crowd at the MCG for the Boxing Day Test.
“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.”
More than 80,000 people attended day one of last year’s Boxing Day Test as Australia crushed New Zealand.
In 2018 – the last time Virat Kohli’s India toured Australia – 73,516 fans were on hand at the MCG for day one.
The NSW government has signed off on Cricket Australia’s quarantine proposal, with an updated schedule for India’s tour expected to be finalised soon.