Monday, March 9, 2015

The Mystique Of The Melbourne Cricket Ground

The Mystique Of The Melbourne Cricket Ground

By Eruna Ichinomiya
Spirit News
October 23, 2074

The Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) is an Australian sports stadium located in Yarra Park, Melbourne, Victoria, and is home to the Melbourne Cricket Club. It is the 13th-largest stadium in the world, the largest in Australia, the largest in the Southern Hemisphere, the largest stadium for playing cricket, and has the highest light towers at any sporting venue. The MCG is within walking distance of the city centre and is served by the Richmond railway station, Richmond, and the Jolimont railway station, East Melbourne. It is part of the Melbourne Sports and Entertainment Precinct.

Internationally, the MCG is remembered as the centrepiece stadium of both the 1956 Summer Olympics, the 2006 Commonwealth Games and the 1992 Cricket World Cup. The open-air stadium is also one of the world's most famous cricket venues, with the well-attended Boxing Day Test match commencing on Boxing Day (26 December) each year. Throughout the winter, it serves as the home of Australian rules football, with at least one game (though usually more) held there each round. The stadium fills to capacity for the AFL Grand Final in late September.

The MCG, often referred to by locals as "The G", has also hosted other major events, including International Rules between the Australian Football League (AFL) and Gaelic Athletic Association, international Rugby union, State of Origin series (rugby league), FIFA World Cup qualifiers and International Friendly matches, serves as the finish line for the Melbourne Marathon and also hosts major rock concerts.

Until the 1970s, more than 120,000 people sometimes crammed into the venue – the record crowd standing at around 130,000 for a Billy Graham evangelistic crusade in 1959, followed by 121,696 for the 1970 VFL Grand Final. Grandstand redevelopments and occupational health and safety legislation have now limited the maximum seating capacity to approximately 95,000 with an additional 5000 standing room capacity, bringing the total capacity to 100,024.

The MCG is listed on the Victorian Heritage Register and was included on the Australian National Heritage List on 26 December 2005. It is referred to within Victoria as the "Spiritual Home of Australian Sport".

Outside of the MCG are statues of famous Australian athletes donated by Tattersalls and known as the Parade of Champions, including many Australian rules football and cricket legends.

They include:

  • Ron Barassi (Australian rules football player)
  • Dick Reynolds (Australian rules football player)
  • Leigh Matthews (Australian rules football player)
  • Haydn Bunton, Sr. (Australian rules football player)
  • Don Bradman (cricket player)
  • Keith Miller (cricket player)
  • Bill Ponsford (cricket player)
  • Dennis Lillee (cricket player)
  • Neil Harvey (cricket player)
  • Betty Cuthbert (track and field)
  • Shirley Strickland (track and field)
  • Jim Stynes (Australian rules football player)
  • Shane Warne (cricket player)
  • Norm Smith (Australian rules football player and coach)
  • John Coleman (Australian rules football player)

Sporting records
First ever Test Cricket match (Australia v England) – 1877
First ever One day international Cricket match – 1971
Highest first class cricket score – 1107 (Victoria v NSW, 1926)
Australia's first international Lacrosse match (Australia v Canada, 1907, 30,000)
Fastest ball bowled in a Cricket match in Australia, 3rd fastest in the world – 160.7 km/h (Shaun Tait, Australia v Pakistan, 5 February 2010)

Attendance records
Highest Association Football crowd at MCG(clubs International Friendly) – 95,446 (Pre-season friendly, Melbourne Victory v Liverpool FC, 24 July 2013)
Highest Association Football crowd at MCG (National Team vs National Team) – 95,103 (Australia v Greece, 2006)
Highest VFL/AFL attendance – 121,696 (Collingwood v Carlton, 1970)
Highest single-day attendance in the history of Test Cricket – 91,092 (2013 Boxing Day Test, Day 1 - Australia v England)
Highest One Day International crowd – 87,182 (1992 World Cup Final England v Pakistan)
Highest Australian religious event attendance – 120,000 (Billy Graham crusade, 1959)
The first stadium in the world to have its annual number of visitors equal to the city's population

Stadium records
World's first all colour cricket scoreboard with instant replays
World's first electronic sightscreens
World's first super sopper
World's first scrolling signage at an oval-shaped ground
Australia's largest video screens
First time an international Cricket match was played on a one-piece portable pitch, Boxing Day Test, 2000
World's highest light towers

Cricket Records

Test Records
Highest Test Total: 604 – Australia vs. England, 26 February 1937
Highest Individual Test Score: 307 – Bob Cowper, Australia vs. England, 11 February 1966
Best Test Innings Bowling Figures: 9/86 – Sarfraz Nawaz, Pakistan vs. Australia, 10 March 1979
Best Test Match Bowling Figures: 15/124 – Wilfred Rhodes, England vs. Australia, 1 January 1904
Highest Test Partnership: 346 (for the 6th wicket) – Sir Donald Bradman & Jack Fingleton, Australia vs. England, 1 January 1937

ODI Records
Highest ODI Total: 8/344 – ICC World XI vs. ACC Asian XI, World Cricket Tsunami Appeal, 10 January 2005
Highest Individual ODI Score: 173 – Mark Waugh, Australia vs. West Indies, 9 February 2001
Best ODI Innings Bowling Figures: 6/42 – Ajit Agarkar, India vs. Australia, 9 January 2004
Highest ODI Partnership: 225 (for the 2nd wicket) – Adam Gilchrist & Ricky Ponting, Australia vs. England, 15 December 2002

Twenty20 International Records
Highest Twenty20 Total: 9/182 – Australia vs. South Africa, 11 January 2009
Highest Individual Twenty20 Score: 89 (43) – David Warner, Australia vs. South Africa, 11 January 2009
Best Twenty20 Innings Bowling Figures: 3/11 – Nathan Bracken, Australia vs. India, 1 February 2008
Highest Twenty20 Partnership: 60 (for the 1st wicket) – Ian Bell & Steven Davies, England vs. Australia, 14 January 2011