One for the pugilists / by Mario Mirabile

Cricket is a curious game in which a match lasting five days may not produce a winner. It is a summer staple in Australia, and one of the great events on Melbourne's sporting calendar is the Boxing Day cricket test. On a day where people really people should be recovering from their Christmas feasts, tens of thousands routinely make the pilgrimage to the MCG to sit in the sun, consume copious quantities of amber fluid and cheer on their national heroes. When the adversary is the old enemy England, the numbers swell dramatically.

England had soundly beaten Australia in recent confrontations and seemed to have a solid grip on The Ashes (surely the most curious major sporting trophy in the world). They arrived in Australia expecting to continue the victory march, but by the time of the Melbourne test had already lost the first three matches of the five test series, and with them, The Ashes.

Despite the result of this match being irrelevant to the outcome of the series, a world record 91,000 people attended the first day. These images are from day two, attended by a mere 78,000. Over the four day course of the match, which Australia won to go 4-0 up, nearly 300,000 people marched through the gates. Just another average week for the Melbourne sporting fanatic.