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What is Boxing Day Test? History and all Records you need to know about

By Rohit - December 26, 2023 - Last updated on Dec 26, 2023 07:15 PM
What is Boxing Day Test? History and all Records you need to know about

Boxing Day Test: A Sheffield Shield match between Victoria and New South Wales at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in 1865 is regarded as the origin of Boxing Day matches in Australia.

Every year, come December 26th, cricket fans around the world eagerly await the return of a beloved tradition: the Boxing Day Test. But have you ever wondered where this unique name and custom originated?

A Tale of Two Theories: Charity and Cricket

The origin of the "Boxing Day" name remains a charming mix of historical debate and heartwarming speculation.

The first theory:

  • Traces its roots back to Victorian England, where wealthy families would distribute "Christmas boxes" – gifts and leftovers – to their less fortunate neighbors on Boxing Day.
  • This act of gratitude for service rendered on Christmas Day is believed to have inspired the association between the holiday and the cricket match.

The second theory:

  • Focuses on the existing cricket schedule in colonial Australia.
  • Back then, a Sheffield Shield match traditionally took place at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) over the Christmas period, often including Boxing Day itself.
  • This regular scheduling coincidence gradually solidified the "Boxing Day Test" association.

While the debate around the exact origin continues, one thing remains certain: the Boxing Day Test holds a special place in the hearts of cricket lovers.

A Legacy of Ashes Battles and Memorable Moments

Whether born from charitable spirit or sporting routine, the Boxing Day Test has become synonymous with thrilling Ashes contests and iconic cricketing feats.

  • 1950-51: The official birth of the Boxing Day Test saw Australia triumph over England by 28 runs, etching the match forever in cricketing history.
  • 2010-11: Shane Warne's 700th Test wicket, a magical googly that bamboozled Michael Hussey, became a defining moment of the Boxing Day legend.
  • 2017-18: England's incredible comeback victory, chasing down a mammoth 447-run target, redefined grit and showcased the unpredictability of the Boxing Day spectacle.

Each year, the Boxing Day Test brings together passion, drama, and cricketing excellence, weaving a new chapter into its rich history.

List of Countries who play Boxing day test and records

Team GP Wins Loss Draws
England 13 7 4 2
India 9 5 2 2
New Zealand 3 1 0 2
Pakistan 4 3 0 1
South Africa 7 3 2 2
Sri Lanka 2 2 0 0
West Indies 9 6 2 1

How many Boxing Day Tests India have won?

Australia, unsurprisingly, is the most successful team in the history of the Boxing Day Tests. The Aussies have participated in 47 Boxing Day Tests and have registered 28 wins. They have suffered 10 losses and played out nine draws. Meanwhile, India, West Indies and South Africa have two wins each on the special day. England are the second most successful nation with four wins in Boxing Day Tests.

Also Read: Why could not India win the test series in South Africa?

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