What Is Boxing Day Test? (All You Need To Know!)

Last Updated on October 6, 2021 by Daniel Cuttridge

A Boxing Day Test is a cricket match that holds up every year on the 26th of December, which is the day after Christmas, in Commonwealth countries Australia, South Africa, and New Zealand. However, the most famous event takes place at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) in Australia. 

The second day after Christmas, December 26, is called Boxing Day for a number of reasons. In some parts of the world, the day denotes a special day where boxes were traditionally opened in churches while others believe that servants were given boxed gifts on December 26 for working on Christmas Day. 

Commonwealth nations that fall under the Southern Hemisphere hold remarkable sporting events on the second day after Christmas even though some other parts of the world celebrate that day as the feast day of St Stephen. Teams who visit these Commonwealth nations during the summer months of December, January, and February are involved in the sporting events. On the 26th of December 2020, South Africa hosted Sri Lanka, while New Zealand welcomed Pakistan during the India vs Australia Boxing Day Test. 

Dating back as far as 1865, a Sheffield Shield match between Victoria and New South Wales had been played at the Melbourne Cricket Ground every the Christmas period.  Due to the cluster of the NSW players who missed spending Christmas with their loved ones, Boxing Day was chosen as one of the scheduled days of play. However, it is in the New Year period that the Melbourne Test was scheduled, usually on the first of January. The Melbourne Test took place from the 22nd to the 27th of December during the 1950/51 Ashes series, where the fourth day of play, which is 26th being the Boxing Day. 

The only thing is that Test matches weren’t played on Boxing Day between 1953 and 1967 in Melbourne. The third Test at Melbourne was rescheduled to take place on Boxing Day because there were six Tests in the 1974/75 Ashes series. After a while, the Melbourne Cricket Club and the Australian cricket team were allowed to get involved in a test match every year day after Christmas in 1980 at Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).

List Of Boxing Day Test Matches

The table below is a comprehensive list of the Boxing Day Test matches, total attendance, opposition team, and date of the sporting events. 

YearOpposition teamTest Match WinnersMatch Results Total Attendance
1950 England Australia wonBy 28 runs191,197 spectators 
1952 South AfricaSouth Africa won by 82 runsBy 82 runs120,314 spectators 
1968 West IndiesAustralia won by an innings and 30 runs113,376 spectators
1974 EnglandDraw250,750 spectators 
1975 West IndiesAustralia wonBy 8 wickets 222,755 spectators 
1980 New ZealandDraw82,745 spectators 
1981 West IndiesAustralia wonBy 58 runs 134,081 spectators 
1982 EnglandEngland wonBy 3 runs214,882 spectators 
1983 PakistanDraw111,611 spectators 
1984 West IndiesDraw97,271 spectators 
1985 IndiaDraw77,715 spectators 
1986 EnglandEngland wonBy an innings and 14 runs107,817 spectators 
1987 New ZealandDraw127,184 spectators 
1988 West Indies West Indies won by 258 runsWon by 258 runs108,408 spectators 
1990 EnglandAustralia won by 9 wicketsBy 9 wickets 129,530 spectators
1991 IndiaAustralia won by 8 wicketsBy 8 wickets 89,369 spectators
1992 West IndiesAustralia won by 139 runsBy 139 runs83,320 spectators
1993 South AfricaDraw48,565 spectators
1994 England Australia won by 295 runsBy 295 runs 144,492 spectators
1995 Sri LankaAustralia won by 10 wicketsBy 10 wickets 105,388 spectators
1996West IndiesWest Indies won by 6 wicketsBy 6 wickets131,671 spectators
1997 South AfricaDraw160,182 spectators
1998 England England won by 12 runsBy 12 runs159,031 spectators
1999 IndiaAustralia won by 180 runsBy 180 runs134,554 spectators
2000 West IndiesAustralia won by 352 runsBy 352 runs133,299 spectators
2001 South AfricaAustralia won by 9 wicketsBy 9 wickets 153,025 spectators
2002 England Australia won by 5 wicketsBy 5 wickets 177,658 spectators 
2003 India Australia won by 9 wicketsBy 9 wickets 179,662 spectators
2004 Pakistan Australia won by 9 wicketsBy 9 wickets 129,079 spectators 
2005 South Africa Australia won by 184 runsBy 184 runs192,337 spectators
2006 EnglandAustralia won by an innings and 99 runsBy an innings and 99 runs244,351 spectators
2007 IndiaAustralia won by 337 runsBy 337 runs166,663 spectators
2008 South AfricaSouth Africa won by 9 wicketsBy 9 wickets174,246 spectators 
2009 PakistanAustralia won by 170 runsBy 170 runs156,267 spectators
2010 EnglandEngland won by an innings and 157 runsBy an inning and 157 runs240,156 spectators
2011 IndiaAustralia won by 122 runsBy 122 runs189,347 spectators
2012 Sri LankaAustralia won by an innings and 201 runsBy an inning and 201 runs137,455 spectators
2013 EnglandAustralia won by 8 wicketsBy 8 wickets 271,865 spectators
2014 IndiaDraw194,481 spectators 
2015 West IndiesAustralia won by 177 runsBy 177 runs127,069 spectators
2016 Pakistan Australia won by an innings and 18 runsBy an inning and 18 runs 142,188 spectators
2017 EnglandDraw261,335 spectators
2018 IndiaIndia won by 137 runsBy 137 runs 176,539 spectators
2019 New ZealandAustralia won by 247 runsBy 247 runs203,472 spectators
2020 India India won by 8 wicketsBy 8 wickets 89,472 spectators

FAQs 

We’ve prepared a list of frequently asked questions and answers about the Boxing Day Test. Let’s check them out! 

How Long Does The Boxing Day Test Go For? 

5 days! Boxing Day Test matches are held on the 26th of December, which is the day after Christmas, and the sporting event runs over 5 days. The test matches are held at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, which is one of the most popular sports stadiums in Australia. 

Has Australia Ever Lost The Boxing Day Test? 

Australian cricket team only managed to add just 67 runs to their overnight score of 133 for 6 after losing their last 4 wickets in the extended first session. This set India a paltry target of 70 runs to win the Test. 

Why Is It Called As Boxing Day Test? 

The Boxing Day Test, as we said earlier, holds up at Melbourne Cricket Ground in Australia on December 26 which is known as the Boxing Day when boxes of gifts were given to the servants in Victoria-era England on the second day of Christmas.

In Conclusion 

The Boxing Day Test match is a Cricket sporting event held at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in Australia involving the Australian cricket team and an opposing national team from the Commonwealth nations that fall under the Southern Hemisphere. It commences annually on Boxing Day, the second day after Christmas, and is played at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). We’ve reached the closing chapter of this informative article. We hope you were able to find good resources in your quest to know what the Boxing Day Test means. If you have any questions or comments about the article topic, don’t hesitate to contact us. Thanks

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