Mohandas Menon notes that the first Boxing Day Test was played in 1913 when South Africa hosted England in Johannesburg and goes on to explain the naming of the day, collating every possible stat associated with Dec 26 – a day synonymous with major sporting events across the globe.
With yet another Boxing Day Test just a day away, it is a good time to look into the history, tradition, and reasons behind a Test match that is played in Australia, and in South Africa and New Zealand as well. First, why is the day Called Boxing Day? Arguments are varied about the origins.
Thus, the following day, December 26, they were given the day off. As a bonus, these servants would be given small boxes by their masters that contained money and food. Therefore, the opening of the boxes on the next day after Christmas, over the years became “Boxing Day”, which is believed to have originated sometime in
Test matches that began on December 26 were thus referred to as Boxing Day Tests. Interestingly, the first Boxing Day Test began on December 26 in 1913 when hosts South Africa played England at the Old Wanderers ground in Johannesburg. The next one was played 48 years later in 1961, again at Johannesburg, but this time at the New Wanderers Ground. Traditionally, the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) has always hosted the Boxing Day Tests in Australia since the first one in 1968.
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