Australia v England, 4th Test, Melbourne, 1st day December 26, 2013

MCG hits record crowd


The MCG has reported a world-record attendance for a day of Test cricket, with 91,092 spectators officially accounted for during the final session on Boxing Day.

At 4.15pm the scoreboard at the ground relayed the message that a new world record had been set, surpassing the 90,800 who attended the second day of the 1960-61 Test against West Indies at the MCG.

"As the birthplace of Test cricket, it is fitting that the MCG has again broken the attendance record for a single day of Test match cricket," said MCC CEO Stephen Gough. "We congratulate Cricket Australia on this achievement and also acknowledge the contribution of our members towards making the Boxing Day Test a hallmark event on the sporting calendar."

"On the back of 100,000-plus people at the AFL Grand Final in September and more than 95,000 witnessing Liverpool FC play a soccer friendly in July, this year has again proven beyond doubt that the MCG is the home of Australian sport and an iconic destination in our city."

Although the figure is the highest ever officially counted for a day's play, Eden Gardens in Kolkata often drew massive crowds in past decades that could have exceeded the Melbourne number but were not officially measured.

The highest in recent years at the MCG had been the 89,155 who attended on Boxing Day during the 2006-07 Ashes Test, which like this season began with Australia already 3-0 up in the series.

The fact the match was a dead rubber did not deter the fans this season; public sales for Boxing Day had officially sold out by lunchtime on Christmas Day, which meant the potential for a record was determined by how many MCC members turned up.

The record crowd was treated to one of the most dour days of the series, though, as England's batsmen took a grinding approach having been sent in by Michael Clarke.

James Sutherland, the Cricket Australia CEO, said: "Throughout the years, the Boxing Day Test has developed a privileged place in the Australian conscience; it's become a landmark event. We don't take that for granted. We thank and congratulate the cricket loving public of Melbourne and the Melbourne Cricket Club for creating something special.

"In years to come Melburnians will remember Boxing Day 2013 as the day their city created sporting history."

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Nicholas on December 27, 2013, 18:32 GMT

    And to think neutrals were adamant that nobody was interested in the Ashes/tests in general...

  • Dummy4 on December 27, 2013, 4:47 GMT

    The best thing is this crowd is well behaved compared to what you get in other big grounds specially in sub continent.

  • Simon on December 27, 2013, 3:01 GMT

    Only thing that would have been more stirring than the sheer size of the crowd, would have been a Jooohn....sonnn chant going round the ground. Maybe the second innings?

  • rob on December 27, 2013, 0:09 GMT

    Once again the Victorians lead the way in sporting madness. They get 40,000 people turning up to watch some of the AFL clubs train!

    @ Chris_P: A 150K seat stadium in North Korea you say. That's like putting the world's greatest golf course in the middle of the sahara. Nobody is ever likely to go there.

  • Tim on December 26, 2013, 23:42 GMT

    I was there in the standing room yesterday. The noise was incredible especially at the end when the second new ball was taken by Johnson. A day I'll be able to tell my kids about in the future.

  • Dummy4 on December 26, 2013, 23:03 GMT

    Eden Garden might beat the number of attendees some day (just because it is a nation of 1.5 billion). But will never the polite manners of audience in Eden Garden. Next time there is a game in Eden Garden, audience should be given a couple minute lesson about the manners of MCG crowd.

  • Chris on December 26, 2013, 22:51 GMT

    MCG is a wonderful ground. I think cricket should only be played in Australia, NZ , England and SA. Green grounds, good facilities,good commentary, and good crowd. Waiting for 2015 world cup.( despite its quarter final format which is not good)

  • tarit on December 26, 2013, 20:41 GMT

    Eden Gardens did at one time had capacity close to 90000, but there has never been official counting, in an appropriate way. Now it can only seat 65000. So, whether testmatch or T20, it won't match MCG. It might had close to 88000 when Dravid and Laxman batted for the whole day, but again, nothing's official about it, so its better not to refer. Its my favourite ground, where I saw 14 test matches. Did see a couple at Lords but would love to be at MCG some day.

  • Peter on December 26, 2013, 18:19 GMT

    Just FYI, the MCG used to have 125,000 crowd once (AFL record is about that), but that was standing room only. The stadium has been modernized & now everyone is seated comfortably. You can talk Eden Gardens all you want, until an official count is done then the MCG record stands, & to be blunt, India will never see this sort of crowd for a test match again either given their preference to the T20 direction. BTW, there is a stadium in North Korea with a 150,000 capacity (check Google) that tops the list as the biggest capacity, not Eden gardens.

  • ESPN on December 26, 2013, 17:24 GMT

    But the Eden Gardens will never see a number even close to this for tests, thanks to Indian cricket "fans". Furthermore, I hope ICC will see this as one of those plus points for moving forward with the Test Championship.

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