The 2022 Festivus holding page: The Boxing Day Tests

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A few years ago we hit on a characteristically half-arsed approach to covering the Boxing Day Tests. We flag what matches are taking place in advance, wish everyone a happy Festivus and then cross our fingers and hope that something passing for informative reportage materialises in the comments section.

It generally does.

So what are we looking at this year?

The Boxing Day Tests

  • Bangladesh v India is actually already underway
  • Australia v South Africa from 11.30pm Christmas Day (these are UK times)
  • Pakistan v New Zealand from 5am Boxing Day

It looks like Bangladesh v India will probably be over by Boxing Day, but it’s still eligible for discussion on this page because we sure as Shiv ain’t going to write any more articles in the coming days.

The game at the MCG will be an interesting one because the first Test was an absolute shoot-out, Australia romping to their fourth innings target of 35 for the loss of only four wickets. Their first innings 218 was by the far the biggest innings of the match.

Pakistan v New Zealand we don’t really know what to make of. The home team have just lost 3-0 to England, but that didn’t seem normal and they mostly played well. New Zealand, meanwhile, have a new Test captain, Tim Southee, who will be without two of his main seamers, Trent Boult (didn’t want to tour) and Kyle Jamieson (injured). Ajaz Patel – who’s bowled all of two overs since the Test against India when he took all 10 wickest in an innings – will presumably get through a bit more bowling.

Happy Festivus everybody. Don’t hold back during The Airing of Grievances.

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Mike Gatting wasn't receiving the King Cricket email when he dropped that ludicrously easy chance against India in 1993.


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    1. Yo wot u talkin bout man. I’s not one of yous ancients bro. I just happen to own some badminton racquets wot are like well old innit. Although they remain like totally peng.

      So tush, tush, man, never fleer and jest at me. I speak not like a dotard nor a fool, as under privilege of age to brag what I have done being young, or what would do were I not old. Innit.

  1. Waiting with bated breath for one of them to start and push Money Masquerading As Cricket off the top of every cricket news site please God.

      1. It’s better than more Ipple content, but quite frankly it’s hard to get too excited for India vs. Bangladesh.

      2. The Ind-Ban test got me thinking that 2022 seems to have had more than it’s fair share of absolutely cracking test matches.

  2. England Test squad for New Zealand:

    Ollies: 2
    Ollys: 1
    Bens: 3

    Dan. Harry. James. Joe. Jack. Matthew. They might be winning, but where’s the creativity? What happened to your Montys, your Samits, your Zafars, your Keatons?

    Not even a Toby, a Rikki or a Wayne in sight.

    1. The ODI squad, however, tells a different story.

      Dawid. Adil. Moeen. Jos. Reece. Jofra.

      What a world.

    1. I’m listening to radio commentary of Pakistan vs New Zealand. Always a pleasure to hear Jeremy Coney (currently bemoaning the lack of a genuine quick eg Lockie Ferguson), but between every over there is an advert for the SEN gambling app and it is doing my head in.

      1. Perhaps you are being over-sensitive about those ads, Essie. If you were following on TV you would get regular sensitivity-free moments from Sensodyne and Tapal tea moments too. Life’s too short…blah blah.

        Mind you, between EVERY over would possibly do my nut in too.

      2. I appreciate that adverts are a necessary evil, and just because I have no need for hair loss solutions, erectile dysfunction treatment, or cement, doesn’t mean others aren’t interested in these products. But an ad for the same product between each over when it’s spin from both ends is just too much.

    2. One of the prizes promoted on the front of The Smudge’s vintage publication was postcards from each of the England cricketers touring Australia. Imagine if they actually did a proper job. What a prize.

      1. I had that Cricket Subbuteo – I think a birthday present from my parents in 1973 or (more likely) 1974. For sure I had it before my birthday in 1975, as I remember playing the cricket world cup with it, as it were.

        I did not have a high-falutin’ cloth-covered Slazenger cricket bat though. I had an embarrassingly old, dark-coloured wood bat, that needed lashings of linseed oil at the start of each season. I’d have been thrilled to receive such a fancy Slazenger bat for Christmas, but nothing doing.

        May I please add the lack of such a cricket bat for Christmas to the list of grievances with my parents? I realise that it might be a bit late for grievances with my long-since deceased parents, even on a site where, I quote, “it’s never too late for grievances!”

      2. If only there were an on-line version of “Mike Brearley’s Batting Aces” available, that would surely make all our Christmases.

        Cricket Top Trumps was a similar game, if I remember correctly, which did, at one time, have an on-line instantiation.

      3. Completely different thing, as far as we can tell. Completely different in so many important ways. Also, we don’t know what you’re talking about.

  3. Babar Azam surely putting himself in pole position for LCMOG.

    Apropos of nothing, it strikes me that ‘Barry Shazam’ would make a decent name for an amateur magician.

  4. So many reasons not to bid for this, APW.

    Not only is the price for just a single card, not a complete set, but, far more importantly, that offer is riddled with the grocer’s apostrophe: “single card’s”, all over the shop.

    Nearly put me off my breakfast, it did. Another addition to my belated list of grievances.

      1. Here’s one.

        D Warner 200 ret hurt

        Apparently Australia is too hot for him to play cricket in, so he wasn’t feeling well.

      2. Scoring 200, doing a silly little jump in the air, landing awkwardly and having to retire hurt. Peak David Warner.

      3. To be honest, you’ve thoroughly confused me now, KC.

        Am I belatedly posting 2022 Festivus grievances because it is “never too late for grievances” or am I now posting 2023 Festivus grievances because “it’s never too early to begin stockpiling grievances for next year?”.

        Worse yet, as I am aggrieved by having been made so confused, is my grievance over the confusion a belated 2022 Festivus grievance, a 2023 Festivus grievance in advance or some sort of in between grievance that lives where my feet are?

      4. We’re getting a bit fed up with this relentless line on questioning, Ged. We hereby give advance notice that this will be getting a mention in at least one year’s Airing of Grievances.

      5. Hmmm, that feels like I’ve scored a few points in the metaphorical feat of strength this year, but in no sense does it qualify as me having pinned you, KC.

        I’ll keep trying, as you suggest, while eagerly awaiting my mention in a future Airing of Grievances. If it is anything like waiting for my guest pieces to be published, I should hunker down for a potentially long wait.

        Meanwhile, in other potential grievance news, what on earth has Nauman Ali done to upset his team mates? I have only watched a little more than an hour of today’s play, on and off, but must have witnessed at least three misses off Nauman’s bowling in that time.

  5. Pleasantly surprised to find myself regularly checking Cricinfo today. There may be trouble ahead… but while there’s moonlight, and music, and love, and, etc etc. Things looking good for 2023.

    Would like to make a prediction/express a hope that if England go two nil up in the first two Ashes tests, Stokes will tell them to block everything and bowl dry for the next three. Completely in character. He promised entertainment, and it would be magnificently entertaining.

    Happy New Year all.

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