After the Victorian government announced additional loosening of Covid-19 limitations in the coming months, there are expectations that an 80,000-strong throng could be allowed into the MCG for the Boxing Day Ashes Test. Melbourne has just emerged from its sixth lockdown, having been in lockdown for more days than any other city in the world during the last two years.

The MCG has capacity limitations for the Boxing Day Test against India last year, with only 30,000 people allowed to attend. In April, 78,113 people were permitted into the MCG for an AFL match, but since the latest lockdown began in mid-July, Melbourne has not had a significant attendance at a sporting event. In the following weeks, fewer crowds are expected to return to Melbourne horse racing events, but Premier Daniel Andrews said the goal was to have 80,000 people at the MCG on Boxing Day.

Before a crowd of that size could be allowed to attend a sporting event in Victoria, 90 percent of persons over the age of 12 would need to be completely vaccinated, and all attendees would need to be fully vaccinated. The Victorian government, on the other hand, is sure that the objective will be met by November 24.

Meanwhile, there are still concerns about the Perth Test, with WA Cricket CEO Christina Matthews admitting on 6PR radio that the Perth Scorchers men’s team may have to play the entire BBL season on the road after the WA government announced that the borders with Victoria and New South Wales would remain closed until at least Christmas.

New South Wales and Victoria’s men’s teams are unable to go anywhere other than to play each other until at least the start of the BBL on December 5, and four of the eight BBL teams are based in those two states, causing a severe scheduling dilemma for Cricket Australia.