'Very confident': Daniel Andrews flags Boxing Day Test crowds

Australian Associated Press
·4-min read
A 50-50 split image shows Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews on the left and a shot of the 2019 Boxing Day Test on the right.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has strongly suggested there will be a crowd permitted at the Boxing Day Test in December, after announcing widespread easing of coronavirus restrictions in Melbourne on Monday. Pictures: Getty Images

A crowd at the MCG for the Boxing Day Test has all but been guaranteed by Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews as the state's coronavirus restrictions were significantly eased.

After more than four months of a hard lockdown, Melbourne will start to open up after no COVID-19 cases were recorded in Victoria on Monday.

'AWFUL TO WATCH': Rival's backhanded compliment for Steve Smith

‘NEW LEVEL’: Cricket world erupts over extraordinary photo

Cricket Australia is yet to lock in its international schedule for this summer which is highlighted by a blockbuster four-Test series against India.

Premier Andrews said restrictions being lifted meant it was too late for crowds to attend next month's Melbourne Cup, but not for the biggest day in Australian cricket.

"The Boxing Day Test of course is very different because that is some way off," he told reporters.

"I am very confident that we will get a crowd at the MCG for the Boxing Day Test.

"I don't know how big it will be but there will be a crowd, that's the advice that I have, that's what we're working towards."

More than 80,000 people attended day one of last year's Boxing Day Test as Australia crushed New Zealand.

In 2018 - the last time Virat Kohli's India toured Australia - 73,516 fans were on hand at the MCG for day one.

The NSW government has signed off on Cricket Australia's quarantine proposal, with an updated schedule for India's tour expected to be finalised soon.

WBBL season starts with a bang despite miserable weather

Brisbane Heat beat the rain and Adelaide Strikers got into the swing of things as weather played its part in more ways than one on the opening day of the WBBL.

Played under gloomy skies in Sydney, only the opening two matches were completed with Brisbane beating Perth Scorchers and Adelaide Strikers easily accounting for Hobart Hurricanes.

At 4-127 from 17 overs, the Stars looked headed for a competitive total against fellow Melbourne side the Renegades when rain stopped play for the day.

And Ellyse Perry's comeback was put on hold as play was abandoned without a ball being bowled between her Sydney Sixers and Sydney Thunder.

The early matches were completed, Beth Mooney top-scoring for new side Perth but her former team Brisbane got the last laugh in the seven-wicket win.

Ellyse Perry and Ashleigh Gardner of the Sixers celebrate their win over the Adelaide Strikers in the opening round of the WBBL. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)
Ellyse Perry and Ashleigh Gardner of the Sixers celebrate their win over the Adelaide Strikers in the opening round of the WBBL. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

The T20 player of the tournament in Australia's World Cup win earlier this year, Mooney compiled a composed 37 before being run out in the Scorchers' 7-132 at North Sydney Oval.

But after the top four batters got strong starts it was never quite the total the Scorchers should have achieved with Nicola Hancock (2-25) and Delissa Kimmince (2-26) keeping them in check.

In response Heat chased down the total in 17 overs.

The defending champions were anchored by a 78-run partnership between Georgia Redmayne (37 not out) and Grace Harris (53).

"I do admit that I do love North Sydney," said Harris, who hit five boundaries and three sixes in a highly-entertaining 37-ball innings.

"I back myself in over the boundary sizing here. Some sixes today I probably didn't middle but I know I've got the shoulders to have a good crack at it."

Meanwhile Adelaide closed out their match before the weather could close in at Hurstville Oval.