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Spending Christmas on the cricket field

ESPN staff
December 23, 2013
Five other Tests have included play on Christmas Day © Getty Images

Have England ever played a Test match on Christmas Day? asked Steve from Cardiff

England's cricketers have only once taken the field in a Test match on Christmas Day. Perhaps they should do it more often, because they won!

It was at Delhi in 1972, the first Test of that winter's series. The match started on December 20, with a rest day on the 22nd, and England started the last day - December 25 - on 106 for 3, needing 101 more runs to win. They lost only one more wicket in getting there, and the new captain Tony Lewis was in at the end to round off victory with Tony Greig. Lewis - whose first Test it was - finished with 70 not out.

Five other Tests have included play on Christmas Day, starting with Australia's match against West Indies at Adelaide in 1951-52. The most recent one was between Pakistan and India at Karachi in 1982-83, although the second Test between Pakistan and Sri Lanka at Gujranwala in 1991-92 was supposed to include play on Christmas Day but didn't, thanks to persistent showers and a wet outfield.

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