If you have been following cricket for a significant time, then you must have heard of this term — Boxing Day Test match. This is one such Test match that cricket fans from Australia, South Africa, and New Zealand look forward to watching.
But what does a Boxing Day Test mean? And when is it played?
This article will tell you about the Boxing Day Test Match.
Boxing Day Test Match
A Boxing Day Test match takes place after Christmas Day on December 26th every year. Teams like Australia, South Africa, and New Zealand schedule Test matches with other teams in their respective countries.
These matches attract many fans to the stadium, and they get significant viewership on TV as well. Moreover, these Tests also coincide with their summer season from December to February.
How did the Match get its Name?
The term ‘Boxing Day’ is related to the Christmas festival. People generally send gifts to their loved ones on Christmas day, and they are opened the next day. And that’s how the term got associated with cricket.
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History of Boxing Day Tests
The first ever Boxing Day Test match took place between archrivals Australia and England during the 1950-51 Ashes series. The match, however, was played from December 22 to December 27, with the 4th day (26th) coming on Boxing Day.
However, the Boxing Day Test only became an annual affair from 1980 onwards. Cricket Australia and the Melbourne Cricket Club agreed to hold a Boxing Day Test match every year at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).
Since then, it has been regularly played from December 26th to December 30th and is quite popular among cricket fans in Australia. However, there was one exception in 1989, as Australia played a Boxing Day ODI against Sri Lanka, which was part of the Benson & Hedges World Series.
These Tests are also played in South Africa and New Zealand, but they are not a regular affair and don’t get much fanfare like Australia.