A bumper crowd is expected at the MCG on Boxing Day as cricket fans prepare for a likely Australian farewell to star Indian batsmen Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman.
Cricket Australia officials are banking on more than 75,000 fans attending the MCG for the opening day of the four-Test series.
MCC visitors passes have sold out for the traditional and iconic post-Christmas sporting event and Cricket Australia is advising fans to book ahead to avoid disappointment.
CA spokesman Peter Young said they were a little concerned about cricket fans leaving bookings to the last minute.
“Melbourne has got the biggest walk-up rate of any ground in the world,” Young said.
“If you want to get good seats, then you should book ahead.”
Young also said cricket officials were expecting stronger-than-normal crowds for the remaining days of the Test with more than 45,000 fans expected for day two at the MCG.
“They are running stronger than we had originally expected,” Young said.
“As far as Melbourne is concerned, the city seems to be in love with Test cricket.”
Cricket fans, however, may have to endure a wet start to the match with rain “more than likely” for the opening morning of the match.
Weatherzone’s Alex Zadnik said there was a chance of thunderstorms on Boxing Day with a forecast maximum of 25 degrees.
Balmy Christmas Day conditions are likely to extend into Boxing Day with “potentially heavy rain” in the morning.
“The morning looks quite hot,” Zadnik said. “(But there’s) quite likely to be a delayed start to play.
“It’s a bit early to be sure.
“(But) the odds are for a wet start (to the Test).”
After likely humid and wet conditions for Boxing Day, the temperature is expected to drop for the remaining days with a forecast maximum of about 20 degrees on day two.
“It’s likely that a few showers might linger on Tuesday the 27th, but nothing heavy,” Zadnik said.
“However, the whole Test isn’t likely to be rained out.”