Home » Boxing Day, women’s Tests in limbo amid stand-off with Allan government

Boxing Day, women’s Tests in limbo amid stand-off with Allan government

CA has been attempting to maximise the value of their men’s Test matches after a flat television deal early last year, when Fox Sports paid more and Channel Seven less of a $1.5 billion agreement over seven years.

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This has resulted in Cricket Australia attempting to create competitive tension around the scheduling of Test matches when little exists, particularly around the iconic Boxing Day and New Year Tests in Melbourne and Sydney.

While each agreement with the various state governments is different, many revolve around reducing costs and increasing promotion with the certainty of a six-year time frame.

The NSW government has agreed to about $1 million in annual support around the SCG Test, reducing costs around areas such as policing, traffic control and security while agreeing to increase promotion of the event.

As revealed by this masthead in March, the big winners are Western Australia, with the first Test to be in Perth, and South Australia, with the pre-Christmas Test to be played in Adelaide during the six years of the agreement.

A Victorian Government spokesperson described the Boxing Day Test as a “Victorian institution”.

“This iconic match has attracted hundreds of thousands of cricket fans to the ’G over many decades,” the spokesperson said.

“As the Southern Hemisphere’s largest stadium in the heart of the city, the MCG showcases the Test – and the sport of cricket more broadly – unlike any other venue.

“We look forward to continuing our strong relationship with Cricket Australia and the Melbourne Cricket Club on the Boxing Day Test and forthcoming summers of cricket.”

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There is angst in cricket circles around the Victorian Government being seen to take the Boxing Day Test for granted given the enormous support dished out to the AFL, particularly around the grand final.

The Allan government is facing a debt crisis, with net debt forecast to rise to $187.8 billion by June 2028, causing delays in services and infrastructure projects.

In 2018 the Victorian government announced $500 million for the redevelopment of the MCG, Marvel Stadium and local football infrastructure, in return for a 50-year guarantee that the AFL grand final will remain at the MCG for 50 years.

The $225 million Marvel Stadium redevelopment was completed last month, while the MCG redevelopment is four years away.

Cricket Australia has already announced next season’s schedule, with India touring for their first five-Test series in more than 30 years. This also included the women’s schedule.

Australia’s Kim Garth celebrates a wicket with Alyssa Healy in last year’s Test against England.Credit: Getty Images

The Women’s Ashes pink-ball Test is to be the first women’s Test played at the MCG since 1949, and will be the second day-night Test between Australia and England’s women, following the pink-ball game at North Sydney Oval in 2017.

It would also mark the first visit back to the Test cricket’s birthplace for the Australian women’s team since they defeated India in front of 86,174 fans in the 2020 Twenty20 World Cup final.