Australia vs India: Boxing Day Test to welcome crowds of 25,000

WION Web Team New Delhi, India Oct 28, 2020, 08.15 PM(IST) Oct 28, 2020, 08.19 PM(IST)

India-Australia 2nd Test: MCG's drop-in pitch may not up to mark Photograph:( AFP )

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With India’s tour of Australia later in the year getting the final nod, authorities are looking for at least 25,000 people per day at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) during the Boxing Day Test, a government official said on Wednesday.

With India’s tour of Australia later in the year getting the final nod, authorities are looking for at least 25,000 people per day at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) during the Boxing Day Test, a government official said on Wednesday.

Melbourne was released from COVID-19 lockdown on Wednesday with retail and hospitality business opening their doors for the first time in months. 

Victoria state sports minister Martin Pakula said that the government is looking to develop a plan with Cricket Australia and the MCG in a bid to allow one-quarter of a capacity crowd in the famed 100,000-seat MCG for the Boxing Day Test starting on December 26. 

“We’ve been really clear with Cricket Australia and the MCG that we’ll make final decisions about numbers closer to the day, depending on the epidemiological situation that abides at the time,” he said.

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“At this stage, (25,000) is what we believe would be the safe and appropriate number per day here at the MCG.”

Pakula further said that the numbers of supporters could rise if the health situation improves. However, Melbourne’s unlock came too late for Australia’s biggest week in horse racing. The carnival attracts crowds to the tune of 90,000 on major races and is crowed by the A$8 million ($5.7 million) Melbourne Cup, which is run on the first Tuesday in November at Flemington and known as “the race that stops the nation”.

“The view the government came to was it wasn’t appropriate in the circumstances to have hundreds of owners congregating at Flemington next week,” said Pakula.

“There will be a time for that but next week is not that time.”
 

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