Of­fi­cials still hope for world-record crowd

Townsville Bulletin - - Ashes -

CRICKET of­fi­cials hope for some warmer weather to­day, still eye­ing the world record crowd for a sin­gle day’s at­ten­dance at a Test.

The MCG at­tracted 89,155 fans yes­ter­day for day one of the fourth Test, a record for the Ashes and also a record for a Box­ing Day match at the ground.

It was just shy of the of­fi­cial all-time markof 90,800, also set at the MCG when Aus­tralia played the West Indies dur­ing the 1960-61 sea­son.

Shane Warne de­lighted the bumper crowd with his 700th Test wicket and an­other fivewicket haul, while the fans also had plenty of ex­cite­ment late in the day when Aus­tralian cap­tain Ricky Ponting had to see off a hat-trick­ball from his coun­ter­part Andrew Flintoff.

‘‘If the sun was out all day to­day, we would have had the world-record crowd,’’ Cricket Aus­tralia spokesman Peter Young said.

‘‘Given the ef­fect of the wet and the cold, we’re rapt with the ex­tra­or­di­nary turnout.’’

Ticket sales are also very strong for to­day’s play.

The Test match ag­gre­gate of 350,354, again set at the MCG dur­ing the 1936-37 Ashes Test, is an­other markun­der threat if this match goes to five days and the weather holds.

The out­look­was bleak ear­lier yes­ter­day when rain de­layed the start of play by half an hour.

There were two shorter rain breaks ei­ther side of lunch and the ground lights were on all day.

But by mid-af­ter­noon the sun was out, al­though the tem­per­a­ture did not reach 18C.

Clear­ing show­ers are also fore­cast for to­day.

Even bet­ter for of­fi­cials, the crowd was gen­er­ally well be­haved and there was no pitch in­va­sion when Warne reached the 700 mile­stone.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.