The history and the future of the Boxing Day Test

One of the most important cricket matches is the Boxing Day test which takes place on the 26th of December every year in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Although not invented in Australia, cricket has long been synonymous with Australian culture, and along with Australian Rules Football, is regarded as a very Australian sport and part of our heritage. The main reason is that Australians have excelled in the game and have often surpassed our rivals, the English, to essentially dominate the game. Over the years there have been many other countries that have participated in the game and have come to be dominant forces in their own right.

The Boxing Day Test Match as we know it today began back in 1865 and was played between Victoria and New South Wales at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). The series actually begins earlier but the main event is on the 26th of December and this year (2022) it is between Australia and South Africa. People expecting to attend should book their seats as soon as possible as this is one of the most popular cricket events in Australia.

Back in the early 1950s when the Ashes were being played, the Test Match began on the 22nd of December and concluded on the 27th. It wasn’t until 1980 that the official Boxing Day Test Match was approved by the MCG under the request of the Melbourne Cricket Club and the Australian Cricket Team. This was not an easy task though, given that it was the day after Christmas but nonetheless, it was approved and has been a staple of the Australian cricket calendar ever since. Because of the international involvement in the sport, the Boxing Day Test odds have been quite a subject for conjecture given that highly-skilled teams such as South Africa, Pakistan, and India are now involved.

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This means that Australians have to work particularly hard to maintain a global dominance of the sport and that is by no means an easy task. Here are some things they (and every team) can do to stay on top.

Appoint a competent coach

Andrew McDonald is currently the head coach of the Australian national cricket team and he has been by far one of the most headstrong coaches to ever helm the team. Although he has only been the coach since April 2022, he is showing promise with the team due to his impressive history as a player. Many other former players have gone on to coach international teams and the players tend to look up to them given their experience and positive guidance. If the team has no faith in the coach, then very little can be obtained from them, and this makes for a lacklustre team overall.

Choose the right assistant coaches

Coaching a winning team is in no way a one-man job, and this is why pretty much all sports have assistant coaches that can focus on players when the main coach is too busy to do so. Many assistant coaches are underrated, but they know what their job entails and aren’t looking for fortune or glory. They want their team to win and will give their best to make sure that this occurs. Assistant coaches are, like the head coaches, often former players who can help the players to reach their full potential. Assistant coaches are more likely to work closely with players while being overseen by the head coach and it makes for a closer team and potentially a formidable squad.

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Engage on social media

Due to the popularity of cricket, it is obvious that it has a measurable presence on the web. For future generations to enjoy the game, it is important that a social media presence is upheld at all times. Keeping up to date with the current games and players is what will keep people involved and keep current supporters interested. Because of the widespread reach of social media, it makes sense to stay on par with the online community which can only benefit the game going forward.

There is no single go-to answer to keep ahead of the competition when it comes to the longevity of the Boxing Day Test. As listed above there are a variety of aspects that need to be taken into consideration if a winning team is desired. Teams do have their downtimes, but it is up to the coaches, assistant coaches, and the players themselves to look upon any failures and learn from them and help in keeping their respective teams ahead of the curb.

Cricket is a complicated game at the best of times, especially test matches, so all aspects of the game must be thoroughly scrutinised in every way possible to ensure a positive outcome. With the help of a surrounding team of supporters that includes coaches, fans and players, cricket will likely remain a staple of Australian sport for a long time to come.


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