A straight walk from Jolimont rail station towards the Melbourne Cricket Ground will take one before the tall statue of Shane Warne. On the sideways he will find the statues of Australian football players Norm Smith, John Coleman and Jim Stynes and cricketer Neil Harvey.
These are all new addition over the last five years since the MCG authority announced the expansion of list of the sporting statues placed around the ground.
The ground has at least 10 other statues placed around which included the statues of cricketers Don Bradman, Keith Miller, Bill Ponsford, Dennis Lillee, who all are considered as Australia’s sporting legends.
But these statues are not the only element that would give one a touch of history coming into the ground. Australia’s national sports museum, which is also located at the ground, is bound to impress the visitors with so many historical memorabilia around.
It is not just cricket, the museum is also full of historical collection from all other sports where Australia excelled over the centuries.
The historical collection of 1956 Melbourne Olympics, newspaper clippings of Australia’s top sporting achievements, the biography of Australian hall of famers and the trophies of global tournaments that the country won were all put on display at the museum.
Cricket of course occupied a big place of the museum which had the game’s early day kits to modern day memorabilia among its collection.
Everyday hundreds of tourists visit the ground to take the feel of visiting a historical place. For cricketers it is like a place of worship as the ground is the birth place of both Test and one-day cricket.
Twenty nine years after making their ODI debut in 1986, Bangladesh will finally get the chance of playing a match at the MCG on Thursday when they take on Sri Lanka in their third World Cup match.
Until this match, Bangladeshis’ experience of playing at the MCG is limited to Sakib al Hasan featuring in one Big Bash matches this year for his franchise Melbourne Renegades.
Even the coaching staff of Bangladesh team has very limited playing experience at the MCG with coach Chandika Hatgurusignhe featuring in a Test for Sri Lanka in 1995 and Heath Streak playing two ODIs for Zimbabwe in 2001 and 2004.
Bangladesh so far did not play any game in any of the Australia’s major venues. They were close to make their debut in Brisbane’s Gabba last week against Australia but rain robbed them of the chance.
It left them so disappointed that even a vital one point against hosts Australia could not come as consolation.
With the weather predicting a bright sunshine, Bangladesh finally can feel the thrill of playing at the MCG, which, after the remodeling of Kolkata’s Eden Garden, is now officially the biggest ever cricket ground with over 100,000-capacity.
-With New Age input