Ever since my childhood when I started loving cricket I cherished a dream of watching cricket in Australian Cricket ground especially at iconic MCG. We grew up at Faridpur. Our father and elder brother were well known players and sports enthusiasts’. They always encouraged us in playing and watching games. We used to like cricket more than any other games. We used to listen to cricket commentary. From early 1960s our father used to take to Dhaka stadium whenever a test between the then Pakistan and visiting teams used to be played. We were also regular recipients of Sport times used to be published those days. MCG always remained my enigma.
Our younger son Shafayet Avro from somewhere developed a fascination for Australia. When an Australian Pipeline Contractor McConnell Dowel constructed an important Gas Pipeline in Bangladesh many of their engineers used to visit our house. They used to like Avro and his knowledge about Australia and Australian Cricket at his childhood days. Fortune favored and we were to migrate to Australia in 2005. We preferred Melbourne where we are happily settled now as Australian Citizen. Sons Shuvro and Avro have grown up. We miss Bangladesh and Dhaka Stadium but we love MCG and Rod Laver Arena.
MCG at A Glance
The Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) is an Australian sports stadium located in Yarra Park, Melbourne, Victoria, and is home to the Melbourne Cricket Club. It is the 11th-largest stadium in the world, the largest in Australia, the largest in the Southern Hemisphere, the largest stadium for playing cricket, and has the highest light towers at any sporting venue. The MCG is within walking distance of the city center and is served by the Richmond railway station, Richmond, and the Jolimont railway station, East Melbourne. It is part of the Melbourne Sports and Entertainment Precinct.
Internationally, the MCG is remembered as the centrepiece stadium of the 1956 Summer Olympics, the 2006 Commonwealth Games and the 1992 Cricket World Cup. The open-air stadium is also one of the world's most famous cricket venues, with the well-attended Boxing Day Test match commencing on Boxing Day (26 December) each year. Throughout the winter, it serves as the home of Australian Rules football, with at least one game (though usually more) held there each round. The stadium fills to capacity for the AFL Grand Final in late September.
The MCG, often referred to by locals as "The G", has also hosted other major events, including International Rules between the Australian Football League (AFL) and Gaelic Athletic Association, international Rugby union, State of Origin series (rugby league), FIFA World Cup qualifiers and International Friendly matches, serves as the finish line for the Melbourne Marathon and also hosts major rock concerts.
Until the 1970s, more than 120,000 people sometimes crammed into the venue – the record crowd standing at around 130,000 for a Billy Graham evangelistic crusade in 1959, followed by 121,696 for the 1970 VFL Grand Final. Grandstand redevelopments and occupational health and safety legislation have now limited the maximum seating capacity to approximately 95,000 with an additional 5000 standing room capacity, bringing the total capacity to 100,024.
The MCG is listed on the Victorian Heritage Register and was included on the Australian National Heritage List on 26 December 2005. It is referred to within Victoria as the "Spiritual Home of Australian Sport".
The Melbourne Cricket Ground is one of Victoria’s leading tourist attractions and a “must see” destination for sports lovers throughout the world.
Widely recognized as the home of Australian sport, the MCG has outstanding heritage value to Australia and in December, 2005 was included in the National Heritage List so that these values may be protected for generations to come.
In March 2008, the MCG added a new dimension to its significance with the opening of the National Sports Museum (NSM), Australia’s only truly dedicated multi-sports museum.
The National Sports Museum celebrates the contribution that sport has made within the development of our uniquely Australian culture.
The achievements of Australian sportsmen and women at all levels are showcased within interactive exhibitions including sport artefacts. Their stories and imagery represent all sports played within Australia.
Located on two levels of the Olympic Stand (inside Gate 3), the National Sports Museum displays more than 2500 items from Australia's rich sporting history.
These permanent exhibitions offer visitors an insight into Australia’s extremely diverse sporting history:
• Faster, Higher, Stronger (Olympics)
• Backyard to Baggy Green (Cricket)
• Spirit of Sport (Sport Australia Hall of Fame)
• Australia's Game (Australian Football)
• The People's Ground (MCG)
• Champions - Thoroughbred Racing Gallery
• Multi-Sports exhibition
• Game On (Interactive Gallery)
• Melbourne Cricket Club Museum
This is a vibrant, exciting and attractive mix of sporting heritage and entertainment aimed at match day patronage as well as catering for the MCG’s traditional tourist groups seven days weekly.
The National Sports Museum opens from 10.00am–5.00pm daily (except Christmas Day and Good Friday), with last admission at 4.00pm. Times vary on MCG event days.
Our Experience of MCG:
From 2006 -2009 I worked in Queensland in major Recycled Water Pipeline Project and could only stay in Melbourne occasionally with the family when on leave. I watched all test matches played at Woolloongabba and Sydney Cricket Ground before I had opportunity to watch Cricket at MCG. The first cricket I witnessed at MCG was the Boxing Day test between Pakistan and Australia. The young Pakistani left arm pace bowler Mohammad Amir and right arm seam bowler Mohammad Asif impressed us though Australia crushed Pakistan to a seven wicket defeat.
Watching cricket at MCG is a great fun and when it is a Boxing Day it adds more attraction .From 2009 till now we have not missed any Boxing Day test match even when I worked in Afghanistan. We have already witnessed India, England, South Africa and Sri Lankans play against Australia .Only South Africa won matches ( Test and ODI ) at MCG against Australia .Otherwise the matches were all one way traffic. The stadium has state of the art modern facilities. It is really a great fun when 97000 cricket frenzy crowd creates Mexican Waves. The crowd has great cricket knowledge and appreciates any piece of good cricket.
First three years one member of MCG used to arrange ticket for us in the special lounge where we enjoyed matches seating beside senior Australian Cricketers of yester years. My cricket knowledge got enriched talking with several Icon Players.
This year South Africa and India are the visitors .Then comes the ICC World Cup .The final and some other matches will be played at MCG . We already have tickets for Melbourne matches.
Visit to MCG Museum
It was not until 2 October 2014 we could visit MCG Museum. One of my South African friend with family has move from Johannesburg for working in Price Waterhouse Coppers (PWC) . The lady is an event manager and has plans to officiate as an event manager in ICC World Cup 2015. We visited MCG and thought it an opportunity to visit Museum. It was a memorable two hours inside the museum which is a living history of Australian sports –Cricket, Australian Rules football, Athletics , Swimming , Olympics and MCG. We recommend any sports enthusiast planning a visit to Australia must include visiting MCG and MCG Museum. There are plenty to see and enrich sporting knowledge.
BDST: 1152 HRS, OCT 04, 2014