What is the Boxing Day Test Match?
A test match played between Australian Cricket team and any opponent team touring Australia on Boxing Day; 26 of December is known as Boxing Day test match. It begins annually on Boxing Day (26 December) and is played at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).
Why 26 December is called Boxing Day?
Boxing Day occurs on 26 December. Boxing Day is a holiday celebrated on the day following Christmas Day in the United Kingdom and Commonwealth nations.
In the liturgical calendar of Western Christianity, Boxing Day is the second day of Christmastide, and also St. Stephen’s Day. In some European countries, notably Germany, Poland, the Netherlands and the Nordic countries, 26 December is celebrated as a Second Christmas Day.
According to Oxford English Dictionary, “the first week-day after Christmas-day, observed as a holiday on which post-men, errand-boys, and servants of various kinds expect to receive a Christmas-box”. That’s the reason 26 December is called Boxing Day.
Sports competitions on Boxing Day:
In different European countries different sports competitions are organized on Boxing Day.
In the United Kingdom, a full program of football and rugby union matches is organized on Boxing Day. Originally, matches on Boxing Day were played against local rivals.
In Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, Test cricket matches are played on Boxing Day.
In Australia, the first day of the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne and the start of the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race are on Boxing Day.
In horse racing, there is the King George VI Chase at Kempton Park Racecourse in Surrey, England. It is the second most prestigious chase in Britain, after the Cheltenham Gold Cup.
Boxing Day is one of the main days in the hunting calendar for hunts in the UK and US, with most hunts holding meets, often in town or village centers.
Several ice hockey contests are associated with the day. The IIHF World U20 Championship typically begins on 26 December. Similarly the Spengler Cup also begins on 26 December in Davos, Switzerland; the Spengler Cup competition includes HC Davos, Team Canada, and other top European Hockey teams.
In some African Commonwealth nations, particularly Ghana, Uganda, Malawi, Zambia and Tanzania, prize fighting contests are held on Boxing Day.
History of Boxing Day Test Match
In 1974-75 Ashes series, there were six test matches in the series. To fit the schedule, the third test at Melbourne was scheduled to start at Boxing Day. That was the origin of the modern tradition. In 1980 Melbourne Cricket Club and Australian Cricket Team secured the rights to begin a test match annually on Boxing Day at the MCG.
Prior to that, during 1950-51 Ashes Series, third day of Melbourne test was played on Boxing Day. The match was played from 22 to 27 December 1950.
Boxing Day One Day International Cricket
In 1989, instead of a Test match, a One Day International involving Australia and Sri Lanka was played, which Australia won by 30 runs.
Stats of Boxing Day Test Match
|Sr. No||Year||Opposition team||Result|
|1.||1950||England||Australia won by 28 runs|
|2.||1952||South Africa||South Africa won by 82 runs|
|3.||1968||West Indies||Australia won by an innings and 30 runs|
|5.||1975||West Indies||Australia won by 8 wickets|
|7.||1981||West Indies||Australia won by 58 runs|
|8.||1982||England||England won by 3 runs|
|12.||1986||England||England won by an innings and 14 runs|
|14.||1988||West Indies||West Indies won by 258 runs|
|15.||1990||England||Australia won by 9 wickets|
|16.||1991||India||Australia won by 8 wickets|
|17.||1992||West Indies||Australia won by 139 runs|
|19.||1994||England||Australia won by 295 runs|
|20.||1995||Sri Lanka||Australia won by 10 wickets|
|21.||1996||West Indies||West Indies won by 6 wickets|
|23.||1998||England||England won by 12 runs|
|24.||1999||India||Australia won by 180 runs|
|25.||2000||West Indies||Australia won by 352 runs|
|26.||2001||South Africa||Australia won by 9 wickets|
|27.||2002||England||Australia won by 5 wickets|
|28.||2003||India||Australia won by 9 wickets|
|29.||2004||Pakistan||Australia won by 9 wickets|
|30.||2005||South Africa||Australia won by 184 runs|
|31.||2006||England||Australia won by an innings and 99 runs|
|32.||2007||India||Australia won by 337 runs|
|33.||2008||South Africa||South Africa won by 9 wickets|
|34.||2009||Pakistan||Australia won by 170 runs|
|35.||2010||England||England won by an innings and 157 runs|
|36.||2011||India||Australia won by 122 runs|
|37.||2012||Sri Lanka||Australia won by an innings and 201 runs|
|38.||2013||England||Australia won by 8 wickets|
|40.||2015||West Indies||Australia won by 177 runs|
|41.||2016||Pakistan||Australia won by an innings and 18 runs|
Australian Cricket Team’s Record of Boxing Test Match
|Total matches||Australia won||Australia lost||Draw|
None of the Asian team have won the Boxing Day Test match yet.