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Boxing Day Test attracts record crowd for Australia-New Zealand clash
Record Attendance

Boxing Day Test attracts record crowd for Australia-New Zealand clash

More than 80,000 spectators thronged the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Thursday to create the record for the largest single-day crowd for a Test match between Australia and New Zealand.

The sizeable number of fans that packed the stadium falls in line with the immense popularity of the Boxing Day Test, a highlight of Australia's cricket calendar.

The showpiece event is the first Boxing Day Test amongst the trans-Tasman rivals in Australia since 1987.

The 80,473 people who turned up for the opening day's proceedings are second only to the 85,661 who witnessed Australia play the West Indies in 1975 for a non-Ashes Boxing Day fixture.

The previous record for an Australia-New Zealand Test at this very venue was 51,087, indicating a marked improvement.

Cricket Australia chief Kevin Roberts admitted that the colossal attendance was a fair reflection of the adoration for cricket's conventional format.

"Thanks so much to the Australian and New Zealand fans who made history at the MCG today," he said.

"The atmosphere was brilliant from ball one and reflective of the great rivalry between our two nations on the field, and the close relationship we have off it."

Fans experienced a riveting contest on day one with Australia having a slight edge over the tourists following resolute half-centuries from Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne.