April 1, 2009

Australian cricket

Introducing ... the Mekong Cricket Ground

Brydon Coverdale
The magnificent Melbourne Cricket Ground in full bloom, Victoria v Queensland, FR Cup, MCG, February 6, 2008
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If the ICC is keen to expand into the Chinese market this might be a good start. According to a report on the Herald Sun website the Melbourne Cricket Ground was to be rebranded the Mekong Cricket Ground “following an audacious naming rights bid by a Chinese construction giant”.

After Melbourne’s other major stadium, the Docklands ground, was renamed Etihad Stadium earlier this year the new MCG moniker was just a bit too much for the patriotic pride of some readers. More than 200 comments had been posted on the story by midday Melbourne time.

More than 200 people submitted feedback to the newspaper’s website. "Let's just give up this whole country to the Asians and be done with it," posted "Mister Master. "What did our diggers fight and die for in the past wars?” he continued, ignoring the minor fact that the Chinese were actually on the Allies' side.

Other readers were alert to the fact that it was April Fool’s Day. It might have helped that the paper quoted a spokeswoman going by the name April Fulton.

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

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