The term ‘Boxing Day’ finds its origins in ‘Christmas Box’, a gift box, traditionally presented to errand boys, post men and other such workers on December 26 for their service through the year — a ritual that began in Great Britain and has since made its way to other countries.
In 1950, Australia and England played the first cricket Test that began on Boxing Day. Since then, it has become a prominent feature in the cricket calendar, with Boxing Day Tests played in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.
In Australia, it’s always played at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. This year the match features the hosts and Pakistan touring Down Under.
In 1952, 1968, 1974 and 1975, the Test, which went on to become a tradition, was held at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). In 1967, 1972 and 1976, it was held in Adelaide.
But since 1980, the Boxing Day Test has always been hosted at the MCG. However, in 1989, an ODI was played between Australia and Sri Lanka in place of a Test match.
The Boxing Day Test is also played in South Africa on December 26 every year and this year it will be played between the hosts and India at SuperSport Park in Centurion.