Boxing Day is celebrated on December 26 in the UK and many other Commonwealth countries, such as Australia, New Zealand, and Canada. It is the day after Christmas.
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So what is Boxing Day exactly?
One version says it’s about the alms boxes or poor boxes that used to be opened the day after Christmas in churches. Now, there are some people who think that the name comes from gift boxes. They were given to servants who had to work on Christmas Day. The next day, they were given gifts.
St. Stephen, the patron saint of horses, has his feast day on the same day. Because of this, there are also a number of sporting events held on this day. December, January, and February are summer months in the Commonwealth countries that are in the southern hemisphere.
This was the largest single-day crowd for a Test match between the two countries
In Australia, the Boxing Day Test match is held every year from December 26 to 30 at the famous Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). The match is between the Australian team and any other team on tour at that time. In 1950, Australia and England played the first Test match on Christmas Day. In 1985, 1991, 1999, 2003, 2007, 2011, 2014, and 2018, India played Boxing Day Test matches in Australia.
India will play in the Boxing Day Test match when it goes back to the country in 2020. Also, the Boxing Day Tests are played in South Africa and New Zealand. This year, New Zealand plays Australia in Australia, while South Africa plays England at Centurion.
On Thursday, more than 80,000 people went to the Melbourne Cricket Ground to watch a Test match between Australia and India. This was the largest single-day crowd for a Test match between the two countries and one of the biggest for any country. The Boxing Day Test is the most important cricket game in Australia. And a lot of people show up to watch it. The record is 91,112 people who watched England play in 2013.
Indian cricket team in Boxing Day Test matches in Australia
Since 1985, the Indian cricket team has visited the MCG frequently for Boxing Day Tests. Eight times, India has played in the Boxing Day Test – in 1985, 1991, 1999, 2003, 2007, 2011, 2014, and 2018.
Despite that, India have lost five times and drawn twice in their eight Boxing Day Tests, with their only victory at the MCG coming in 2018 when Virat Kohli’s men won by 137 runs thanks to Cheteshwar Pujara’s century.
Virender Sehwag (1), Virat Kohli (1), Ajinkya Rahane (2) and Sachin Tendulkar (1) are the other Indian centurions in Melbourne.
India’s record in Boxing Day Test in Australia
|1991||India||Australia won by 8 wickets|
|1999||Australia||Australia won by 180 runs|
|2003||India||Australia won by 9 wickets|
|2007||Australia||Australia won by 337 runs|
|2011||Australia||Australia won by 122 runs|
|2018||India||India won by 137 runs|
|2020||Australia||India won by 8 wickets|
India’s Boxing Day Test in South Africa
The first Boxing Day Test match India played in South Africa was at St George’s Park in 1992. Interestingly, it was the first result between the two sides on South African soil since all previous Tests had been drawn. Allan Donald picked up 12 wickets in the game as the hosts won by 9 wickets.
India has played five Boxing Day Tests in South Africa, all of which ended in a win. India won the 2010 match at Kingsmead while South Africa won four of these.
Kingsmead has hosted the last four Boxing Day Test matches in South Africa. Centurion will host the South Africa vs India Boxing Day Test match in 2021.
|1992||India||South Africa won by 9 wickets|
|1996||South Africa||South Africa won by 328 runs|
|2006||South Africa||South Africa won by 174 runs|
|2010||India||India won by 87 runs|
|2013||India||South Africa won by 10 wickets|