Boxing Day Test is a famous Test match being played against Australia at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on December 26, and ends either on 30th December, or before that. It is of great significance to the Australians as this tradition dates back as early as 1865, signifying a Sheffield Shield first-class match between Victoria and New South Wales.
In modern day, the Test match played on the date of December 26 is deemed as the Boxing Day Test match. The Australians join in and tune in to the Boxing Day test match in huge numbers. The Cricket Australia (CA) made it an official Test match in 1980 as Boxing Day tradition entered cricket books officially. The highest attendance ever recorded in a Boxing Day Test match was back in 2013, when Australia took on England in the Ashes.
The whole Ashes was one of the all-time greats as a fierce Mitchell Johnson etched his name in the history books by delivering arguably the greatest ever spell in Test bowling history in a bilateral series. He took 37 wickets as his pace, line, length, and bouncers stuttered England and gave English players of that time, a lifelong haunting memory as majority of the players’ career got hampered and few of them were even axed from the side.
The Boxing Day Test matches of 2013 recorded an attendance of 271,865, which Australia won by 8 wickets and the Man of the Match was none other than Mitchell Johnson.
The Man of the Match also holds significance as the award is presented alongside a Mullagh medal to the winner.
The Mullagh Medal is awarded to the Man of the Match in the Boxing Day Test match from 2020. The Mullagh medal is named in honour of the veteran and iconic former Australian cricketer, Johnny Mullagh. Australia will host Pakistan in this year’s Boxing Day Test match in the second Test of the 3-match Test series.