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

MCG hits record crowd

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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

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on December 27, 2013, 18:32 GMT

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

  • 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.

  • Insult_2_Injury 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?

  • dunger.bob 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.

  • Dashgar 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.

  • 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.

  • Kalan9211 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)

  • wah_wah 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.

  • Chris_P 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.

  • 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.

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on December 27, 2013, 18:32 GMT

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

  • 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.

  • Insult_2_Injury 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?

  • dunger.bob 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.

  • Dashgar 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.

  • 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.

  • Kalan9211 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)

  • wah_wah 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.

  • Chris_P 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.

  • 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.

  • CricketFanIndUS on December 26, 2013, 17:08 GMT

    What a magnificent cricket ground! When I saw the start of the match yesterday on TV, I thought what a beautiful sight it is to see a full stadium. The ground looked very well prepared, impeccable crossed my mind. Filled to capacity, the tiers looked vibrant.

  • on December 26, 2013, 14:55 GMT

    Long live Test Cricket ....

  • Cricket.for.all.. on December 26, 2013, 14:52 GMT

    It's great to see the numbers for real cricket i.e. test cricket To indian cricket lovers we know your passion for cricket and We respect that ...but please stop mentioning Eden garden on Mcg records . Both are giant stadium and attraction to cricket lovers . But Stats are always officially verified ... No hypothesis.

  • on December 26, 2013, 14:47 GMT

    Great to see big crowds for test cricket. Fans from other countries should take note.

  • gsingh7 on December 26, 2013, 13:29 GMT

    eden gardens usually harbour more than 100000 indians , although they didnot do head count. me sure eden garden is biggest stadium in the world. source-- google.

  • Wefinishthis on December 26, 2013, 13:05 GMT

    So Australia is posting record crowd numbers for a dead rubber after a well-attended ashes series in England. India's Pujara - hands down the best batsman in the world - is bringing the pain again to South Africa who have the two best bowlers in the world after a cracker of a test match with 7 runs in it. WI recently pulled off an exciting draw against NZ in Dunedin too after a heroic batting effort. It sounds like reports of test cricket's death have been greatly exaggerated.

  • MrKricket on December 26, 2013, 11:37 GMT

    They should have sold the seats the members didn't bother to turn up for so they could really crack a new record of 100 000!

    If the SCG had more capacity it would pull up around 50 000 like it used to but still well short of the MCG. If tickets weren't so expensive people might turn up to the other days too.

  • IndianInnerEdge on December 26, 2013, 11:04 GMT

    wow....test cricket is alive and kicking.....way to go....might pop over on saturday....:)

  • on December 26, 2013, 10:44 GMT

    I still think that test cricket is dying because making a world record for single day attendance in MCG is not big thing because the attendance is set on the most anticipated day in whole year which is boxing day where Australians are historically enjoy the game of cricket the most.

    If MCG is able to have at least 50000 audience for next 3 days per day then i will think test cricket is not dead. This ashes and last ashes in eng did not produce many cracking results due to scheduling issue.

    I think that matches like ind vs sa last week can save the test cricket but eng vs aus is not producing the great matches any more which is sad.

  • calcu on December 26, 2013, 10:22 GMT

    Who says test cricket is dying?

  • Little_Aussie_Battler on December 26, 2013, 9:23 GMT

    Firstly, it is interesting everyone saying test cricket is in trouble. Well, if you combine all the one day crowds and 20/20 attendances for the MCG this season you will not reach what the MCG drew in today for one day of a test match.

    Problem with short form cricket is that no one takes it seriously nor cares about the result.

  • K_Jan on December 26, 2013, 9:15 GMT

    Its a joy that such a huge crowd watch a test match at MCG.Congrats to aussies for world record attendence.

  • Wayne_Larkins_Barnet on December 26, 2013, 8:10 GMT

    You have to applaud Australian cricket fans. With the series already won and England being so poor you wouldn't be surprised if the MCG was empty but we packed it and totally dominated the day?

  • BradmanBestEver on December 26, 2013, 8:04 GMT

    So where are those English fans from the last test match who criticized the Aussie crowds?

    I supsetc they are on the back foot like their team

  • physri on December 26, 2013, 7:59 GMT

    @Srini_Chennai - Eden Garden's current capacity is 66,349 only. before they did the renovations for the 2011 WC, it stood at a capacity of 90,000.

  • Sanju123 on December 26, 2013, 7:42 GMT

    Test cricket measures the "Application".T20I is about slogging and any weaker team can beat a stronger team on their day. But in test cricket it is not possible as you need to prove your ability to apply at least for three days.

  • seniorgators on December 26, 2013, 7:33 GMT

    @Srini_Chennai The first thing Eden Gardens needs to do is learn how to count them. When they do no one will need to speculate - till then today is the official World Record.

  • Salobalay on December 26, 2013, 6:50 GMT

    It is absolutely amazing to see people still behind the real cricket- Test cricket. Hope the administrators take a hint from this.

  • Srini_Indian on December 26, 2013, 6:29 GMT

    Great achievement but I'm sure Eden Gardens would have surpassed any number MCG could provide in earlier years.

  • on December 26, 2013, 6:21 GMT

    Thats too good i must say for Cricket....Doesn't matter Australia has regained the Ashes but Spectators are coming to see the good cricket. We can see this much of crowd in Australia and England only. They know the real cricket and the importance of the Test Cricket. Good to see the number of spectators turned up with electrifying atmosphere at the MCG on the Boxing Day!!!!

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  • on December 26, 2013, 6:21 GMT

    Thats too good i must say for Cricket....Doesn't matter Australia has regained the Ashes but Spectators are coming to see the good cricket. We can see this much of crowd in Australia and England only. They know the real cricket and the importance of the Test Cricket. Good to see the number of spectators turned up with electrifying atmosphere at the MCG on the Boxing Day!!!!

  • Srini_Indian on December 26, 2013, 6:29 GMT

    Great achievement but I'm sure Eden Gardens would have surpassed any number MCG could provide in earlier years.

  • Salobalay on December 26, 2013, 6:50 GMT

    It is absolutely amazing to see people still behind the real cricket- Test cricket. Hope the administrators take a hint from this.

  • seniorgators on December 26, 2013, 7:33 GMT

    @Srini_Chennai The first thing Eden Gardens needs to do is learn how to count them. When they do no one will need to speculate - till then today is the official World Record.

  • Sanju123 on December 26, 2013, 7:42 GMT

    Test cricket measures the "Application".T20I is about slogging and any weaker team can beat a stronger team on their day. But in test cricket it is not possible as you need to prove your ability to apply at least for three days.

  • physri on December 26, 2013, 7:59 GMT

    @Srini_Chennai - Eden Garden's current capacity is 66,349 only. before they did the renovations for the 2011 WC, it stood at a capacity of 90,000.

  • BradmanBestEver on December 26, 2013, 8:04 GMT

    So where are those English fans from the last test match who criticized the Aussie crowds?

    I supsetc they are on the back foot like their team

  • Wayne_Larkins_Barnet on December 26, 2013, 8:10 GMT

    You have to applaud Australian cricket fans. With the series already won and England being so poor you wouldn't be surprised if the MCG was empty but we packed it and totally dominated the day?

  • K_Jan on December 26, 2013, 9:15 GMT

    Its a joy that such a huge crowd watch a test match at MCG.Congrats to aussies for world record attendence.

  • Little_Aussie_Battler on December 26, 2013, 9:23 GMT

    Firstly, it is interesting everyone saying test cricket is in trouble. Well, if you combine all the one day crowds and 20/20 attendances for the MCG this season you will not reach what the MCG drew in today for one day of a test match.

    Problem with short form cricket is that no one takes it seriously nor cares about the result.