Here’s why a test match starting on Dec 26 is called a Boxing Day Test

Every year on December 26, i.e. the day after Christmas, Boxing Day is celebrated. Several sporting events are held on this day. Even this year, Australia and England will be playing their third Ashes Test at the MCG. India and South Africa will also play the first test of the series at Centurion. 

The day has a religious and cultural significance. The name was adopted in the 1800s when Queen Victoria ruled England. At that time the rich used to box up gifts to give to the poors. Earlier the day used to be a off day for servants and workers. Nowadays a bank holiday is given in most countries on December 26. In modern days, parents give gifts to their children.

Boxing Day is a time when friends and family spend time with each other particularly for those who could not come on Christmas. The day is also considered to be a shopping holiday, with stores offering reduced prices for Boxing Day sales, similar to Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving in the United States.

In Europe, the churches collect money in a box. These boxes are opened on Boxing Day and the money is given to charity.

The Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) has been hosting the boxing day test match for years now. India have won the last two boxing day test matches against Australia at the MCG. Last year they beat Australia by 8 wickets. 

Countries like Australia, South Africa and New Zealand like to end the year with a Boxing Day test match and also begin the year with a New Year Test. 

Apart from Cricket, England also hosts some PL matches on this auspicious day. Even this year, Manchester City will be facing Leicester City. Arsenal, Chelsea and West Ham will also be playing their respective games today.