There is no doubt in the cricketing world, possibly with the exception of Lords, that
a packed Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) is the finest site for any devotee of the game.
Who can forget the World record crowd of 91,092 spectators that attended last year's
Boxing Day Ashes Test between Australia and England?
The famous venue has been rightly chosen to host the 50-over World Cup Final in March 2015 but before that it will undergo a huge resurfacing programme of its famous turf. It will be the biggest resurfacing of the venue since the Commonwealth Games in 2006.
The 50-over World Cup Final is still the pinnacle of a cricketer's career so the MCG is going to ensure that it is in pristine condition as it showcases the final across the globe.
Next month the 20,000 square metres of turf will be dug up and replaced at a cost of $1.7m, with 150 truckloads of turf being used. The playing surface itself will be stripped, re-levelled and replaced by ten drop-in pitches for the new cricket season.
The resurfacing will take place in October due to a natural break in the demands placed on the stadium.
Once the AFL Grand Final finishes work will begin as there is a month break between
the end of the Australian rules football and the beginning of the cricket season.
The first cricket match on the newly-laid surface will take place on October 31st as the Victoria Bushrangers take on the New South Wales Blues in the Bupa Sheffield Shield. It will be interesting to see how the pitch and the outfield plays during the game as I expect both to be very slow as the new turf takes time to bed in.
Australia will play their first International game at the venue on November 7th when they take on South Africa in a Twenty20 match.
Unfortunately for the Melbourne Marathon runners they will not finish inside the stadium this year as work will still be ongoing at that time but that is a small price to pay for the upkeep of one of the best sporting venues across the World.
Next year, as ever, will be a very busy time for the MCG but, without doubt, hosting the World Cup Final on March 29th is the most important. By resurfacing the playing surface they are hoping to put on a show for the World and also maintain their reputation as one of the great sporting venues.
Are there any better stadiums in world cricket?