Australian news November 25, 2008

MCG to host internationals for next decade

Cricinfo staff

The MCG has retained its status as Melbourne's primary cricket venue © Getty Images

The MCG will host every international match scheduled in Melbourne until 2019 under the terms of a new agreement between Cricket Victoria and the Melbourne Cricket Club (MCC). The current arrangement was to expire in March 2009 and lengthy talks were required to come to a similar deal for the next decade.

Melbourne's second-largest venue, the Docklands Stadium, was keen to bid for one-day internationals and even thought it had a chance of poaching the Boxing Day Test. Docklands has a retractable roof and held 12 ODIs from 2000 to 2006. But the new agreement has scuppered the plans of the smaller ground, which is primarily an AFL venue.

"The MCG is one of world cricket's premier stadiums," the Cricket Victoria chairman Geoff Tamblyn said. "Cricket Victoria is delighted to continue its long-standing partnership with MCC and in doing so, provide the best opportunity to invest in the growth of our sport in this state over the next ten years."

The majority of Victoria's home matches will also continue to be held at the MCG. David Meiklejohn, the MCC president, said the result was a positive outcome for cricket in Victoria.

"The MCG has been the spiritual home of Australian cricket since the first Test in 1877 and we are delighted that our association with this great game will continue," Meiklejohn said. "We have invested heavily in cricket facilities within the new northern stand and we believe the MCG is now one of the finest cricket stadiums in the world, both for players and patrons."