Ashes 2021/22: MCG to have capacity crowd in third Test
In what comes as a good news for Australian cricket, the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) will have a full house in the third Test of the impending Ashes series. Reportedly, Victoria has lifted the remaining restrictions on crowd capacity as the COVID-19 vaccination rates soared in the state recently. The 2021/22 Ashes series is set to commence on December 8 in Brisbane.
Why does this story matter?
The sporting events in Australia took a hit as the nation suffered with the COVID-19 pandemic. There were several restrictions in place in terms of mass gatherings. In the 2020/21 Boxing Day Test between Australia and India, only 30,000 people were allowed per day at one of the biggest stadiums, the MCG. Several other sports, including tennis, had certain restrictions on crowd capacity.
The official statement of Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews
"There are no more caps, there are no more quotients, no more rules in terms of how many people can be in different spaces," Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews said. "Whether it's 100,000 at the MCG on Boxing Day or a smaller group standing up at the public bar of their local pub, this is the COVID normal that every Victorian has built."
Interesting facts about the MCG
The Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) is the second-largest cricket ground by capacity. It is host to approximately 1,00,000 people. As many as 91,112 attended the first day of the Boxing Day Test in 2013, the largest crowd witnessed by the stadium in the Test. Meanwhile, nearly 86,174 people watched the 2020 Women's T20 World Cup final between Australia and India.
Ashes 2021/22: Australia to begin title-defense in Brisbane
Brisbane will host the Ashes opener on December 8. The second Test will be a Day/Night affair at the Adelaide Oval (December 16). As stated, the MCG hosts the traditional Boxing Day Test, starting December 26. The New Year's Test (January 5) will be hosted by the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG), while Perth's Optus stadium will host the fifth Test (January 14).
Australia to play their first Test since January
Australia will feature in the longest format after nearly a year. They last played the Brisbane Test against India in January earlier this year. Australia lost the four-match series 1-2. In 2019, Australia retained the Ashes after the series was drawn 2-2. They won in Birmingham and Manchester, while England sealed wins in Leeds and London. The Lord's Test ended in a draw.