What is a Boxing Day test in Australian cricket?

Boxing Day is a holiday that is celebrated on the day after Christmas. In cricket, a boxing day test match is the one which begins on the 26th December and ends on or before 30th December.

While the first Boxing Day Test was played in 1950, it was not before 1980 that it became a tradition for the Australian Cricket Team to play a boxing day test match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground against another international team. 1989 was the only year when a Boxing day match was a One Day International match and not a Test match.  Every four years, a Boxing day test match becomes a part of an Ashes series.

A total of 10 boxing day matches have ended in a draw since 1980. Australia have won 26 Boxing Day test matches. Among other teams, England has won four, India and West Indies have won two matches each and South Africa has one match win.

In 2020, the man of the match award of the boxing day test received the Mullagh Medal, named in honor of late Johnny Mullagh, an indigenous Australian cricketer. In 2013, the highest crowd on boxing day was recorded with over 91,000 people in attendance to witness a match against England and Australia.

Boxing Day test matches hold a cultural significance. They draw large crowds that celebrate in the stands with waves, chants and beer cup snakes. Pakistan, India, England and New Zealand are scheduled to play the boxing day test matches between 2023 to 2026.

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