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Boxing Day records at the MCG

ESPN staff
December 29, 2013
Boxing Day records at the MCG © AFP

I read that the crowd on Boxing Day at Melbourne was a world record for a cricket match. Is that right? asked William Reynolds

The crowd of 91,092 for the first day of the fourth Ashes Test at Melbourne was indeed a record for attendance at a single day's cricket, beating the 90,800 who turned up - also at the MCG - to see the second day of the final Test of the famous 1960-61 Australia-West Indies series (the one which started with the first-ever Tied Test).

However, it is thought that bigger crowds have often watched cricket at Eden Gardens in Kolkata - the first four days of the India-Pakistan Test there in 1998-99, for example, all reportedly drew around 100,000 spectators.

However, no official figures have ever been produced. The Australian Rules Grand Final at the MCG every September regularly draws a crowd in excess of 100,000: the 2013 edition, in which Hawthorn beat first-time finalists Fremantle, was watched by 100,007 people. (Those last seven must have been lucky to squeeze in!)

But, rather surprisingly perhaps, the record MCG attendance isn't for a sporting event at all: approximately 130,000 came to see the evangelist Billy Graham speak there in March 1959.

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