Sydney: The celebrated Boxing Day Test will remain in Melbourne, Cricket Australia said Friday, after a report that administrators could reshuffle fixtures.
The Australian newspaper had suggested that big matches could be moved around based on competitive bidding between states. But CA's executive general manager of operations Mike McKenna said the idea that the December 26 Test would move from the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) was "absolutely not correct".
Ind vs SA at MCG. Pic/ AFP
"We've got no plans whatsoever to move cricket and the Boxing Day Test from Melbourne," McKenna told Melbourne radio station 3AW. "Like any good commercial business, we've got to look at funding of cricket and if someone came to us with a massive offer we'd have to listen but our primary loyalty to the Boxing Day Test is to the MCG." McKenna said there had been no discussions with other states about taking the Boxing Day Test away from Victoria state, of which Melbourne is the capital.
"Our conversations have been about the existing content each state already has," he said. "In Sydney we have a great Test in the New Year Test. We have the first Test of the year in Brisbane most years. In Adelaide we've had (games) on Australia Day (on January 26) on many occasions in the past.
"They've all got great content already, and that's what we're talking about with them at this point in time." McKenna said that CA was trying to encourage state governments to spend money, now spent on marketing states via other sporting events, on cricket. This could be through signage on the ground or the use of cricket imagery and logos, he added.
Victoria's Minister for Sport, Tourism and Major Events John Eren said the Boxing Day Test was "one of the most iconic dates on Australia's sporting calendar". "It doesn't belong to Cricket Australia, it belongs to the fans, who come in their tens of thousands every year to the MCG," he added.
"We do it best, it belongs in Victoria and it's not going anywhere." Cricket Australia is expected to release its full 2015-16 fixture in coming days.