The Melbourne Cricket Club (MCC) has expressed interest in hosting a Test match between arch-rivals India and Pakistan after successfully organising the marquee T20 World Cup clash between the two sides earlier this year.
MCC, which manages the Melbourne Cricket Ground, and the Victoria government have recently inquired with Cricket Australia (CA) about the possibility of hosting the high-profile Test.
MCC chief executive Stuart Fox has revealed his intentions to host the Test following the tremendous success of the T20 World Cup clash in October, which was attended by over 90,000 spectators.
“Absolutely. Three (Tests) in a row would be lovely at the MCG. You’d fill it every time. We have asked,” Fox was quoted as saying by SEN radio.
“We’ve taken that up with Cricket Australia. I know the (Victoria) government has as well. Again, it’s enormously complicated from what I can understand, amongst a really busy schedule. So I think that’s probably the greater challenge.
“Wouldn’t it be great that it wasn’t just Australia-centric and Victoria-centric, that we’re catering for all the countries and filling the stadium all the time. So we have asked.”
Fox said it is now up to CA to pursue the matter with the ICC.
“Hopefully, Cricket Australia keep taking it up with the ICC and keep pushing for it. When you do see some of the stadiums around the world unoccupied, I think it would be much better to have a full house and that atmosphere and celebrating the game with full houses,” he said.
The last time India and Pakistan played a bilateral Test match against each other was way back in 2007. Since then, both sides have only faced each other in either ICC or Asian Cricket Council tournaments.
Pakistan are scheduled to feature in the Boxing Day Test against Australia at the MCG in 2023 as part of a three-match series in the next World Test Championship cycle, and Fox hopes for a full house in that match similar to the India-Pakistan T20 World Cup clash.
“I’ve never seen anything like it at the MCG, that India-Pakistan game was something else,” Fox said.
“The atmosphere, I’ve never felt it like that. The noise after every ball was just phenomenal and the families and children and everyone enjoying it.
“I think if we can be more inclusive and make sure that we cater for all cultures, we’ve got to tap into that Pakistan community next year. We want them here and that would be fantastic to have a full house day one,” he added.