The caretaker of the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) , Melbourne Cricket Club (MCC) and Victoria government has shown interest in hosting India-Pakistan test match at MCG. The MCC and Victoria government has informally asked the Cricket Australia to host the India-Pakistan test match at MCG after the successful T20 World Cup match between both the sides.
India and Pakistan have not played a Test match against each other since 2007 and have not played against each other in bilateral international cricket outside of World Cups and the Asia Cup since 2013.
MCC would love to host the India-Pakistan test match after 90,293 fans came into the MCG to watch the last ball thriller in the T20 World Cup between the two sides.
“Absolutely. Three [Tests] in a row would be lovely at the MCG. You’d fill it every time. We have asked,” Fox said. “We’ve taken that up with Cricket Australia. I know the [Victoria] government has as well. Again, it’s enormously complicated from what I can understand, amongst a really busy schedule. So I think that’s probably the greater challenge.
“Wouldn’t it be great that it wasn’t just Australia-centric and Victoria-centric, that we’re catering for all the countries and filling the stadium all the time. So we have asked.
“Hopefully, Cricket Australia keep taking it up with the ICC and keep pushing for it. When you do see some of the stadiums around the world unoccupied, I think it would be much better to have a full house and that atmosphere and celebrating the game with full houses.”
There is currently no bilateral cricket scheduled between India and Pakistan on the Future Tours Program between 2023 and 2027. The two teams are refusing to travel each other’s country for ODI World Cup and Asia Cup in 2023 due to political and border dispute.
Cricket Australia has clearly stated that the decision of hosting a India-Pakistan test at MCG lies in the hands of BCCI and PCB. But CA has keen interest in hosting a game.
“It would be up to the two countries to agree,” the spokesperson said. “But if there was to be a Test between India and Pakistan on neutral territory, we would of course be interested in the opportunity to host it in Australia. The supporters of the two teams here for the World Cup were amazing and the vast majority of those fans live in Australia.”
Pakistan are set to play the Boxing Day Test against Australia at the MCG in 2023 as part of a three-match series in the next World Test Championship cycle. Fox was hopeful that the MCG could attract the same number of Pakistan fans that turned out for the T20 World Cup match against India and the final against England.
“I’ve never seen anything like it at the MCG, that India-Pakistan game was something else,” Fox said. “The atmosphere, I’ve never felt it like that. The noise after every ball was just phenomenal and the families and children and everyone enjoying it.
“I think if we can be more inclusive and make sure that we cater for all cultures, we’ve got to tap into that Pakistan community next year. We want them here and that would be fantastic to have a full house day one.”