There were wild scenes on the second day of the The Ashes Boxing Day Test as rowdy cricket lovers were captured drinking ‘shoeys’, pouring beer over their heads and receiving unwanted attention from security.
Victoria Police told Daily Mail Australia that exactly 100 fans were booted out of the Melbourne Cricket Ground for unruly behaviour on Sunday with many more ejections also coming on Monday.
Fans starved of live events during Covid lockdowns over the past two years let loose in the stands as Australia and England battled it out on a lively green-top wicket.
About 70,000 revellers packed into the MCG as the atmosphere quickly transformed into a giant party.
But on many occasions fans went a little too far with numerous members of the crowd escorted from the venue for drinking beer out of their shoe.
Pictured: A fan enjoys a beverage out of his shoe as police watch on during day two of the third Ashes Test between Australia and England at the MCG
About 70,000 fans packed into the MCG for day two of The Ashes Boxing Day Test between Australia and England
Pictured: An excited cricket fan drinks beer from a shoe as fans let loose at the MCG for the third Ashes Test
Fans starved of live events during Covid lockdowns over the past two years let loose in the stands (pictured) as Australia and England battled it out on a lively green-top wicket
While police warned against misbehaving at the cricket, they said there were no major arrests on the first day and that most fans were responsible and did the right thing.
Across the stands, outlandish costumes, beachballs and giant beer snakes made of hundreds of plastic cups were a popular way to join in on the fun.
England’s Barmy Army were also in full voice cheering on Joe Root’s men and relentlessly jeering the Aussie squad.
But a heavy police and security presence quickly saw anything that crossed the line dealt with swiftly as scores of fans found themselves thrown out of the match for offenses like swearing and excessive drinking.
Across the stands, outlandish costumes, beachballs and giant beer snakes made of hundreds of plastic cups were a popular way to join in on the fun
Pictured: A cricket lover is captured dripping with beers on day two of the third Ashes Test between Australia and England
Pictured: The wild Ashes crowd cheers as a man in the stands downs a beer during the Third Test at the MCG
Pictured: Police move in at the MCG as the crowd hoists a giant beer snake made of hundreds of plastic cups
This morning, The Ashes series was hanging by a thread after four non-playing members of England’s touring group tested positive to Covid-19 in Melbourne.
In the biggest threat to the series so far, two support staff and two of their family members returned positive rapid antigen tests.
Day two of the third Test on Monday was delayed by 30 minutes as England were held back at their hotel to return negative rapid tests.
Members of Channel 7’s commentary team were noticeably absent from Monday’s broadcast, with Ricky Ponting, Ian Botham, and Mel McLaughlin all missing.
Cricket Australia is adamant that the series should continue as planned, but there are significant grounds for concern.
‘We just need to remain calm and get the facts,’ CA boss Nick Hockley said.
‘Everyone needs to follow the medical advice. On that basis, we keep going. We’ve been working on the plans for this tour for over six months.’
The Ashes series is hanging by a thread after four non-playing members of England’s touring group tested positive to COVID-19 in Melbourne
Mel McLaughlin, Ricky Ponting and Ian Botham (pictured) were forced to take Covid tests after a Seven staff member contracted the virus on Sunday night
NSW recorded 6,324 new Covid cases with 1,999 in Victoria despite a temporary dip in testing rates leading up to Christmas saw fewer diagnoses on Boxing Day.
There have been fears that the current Boxing Day test, Sydney’s New Year test and the fifth and final match of the series in Hobart could all be under threat given the increase in cases.
Each player will undergo a further PCR test after play, with extra provisions taken including the wearing of masks and gloves outside the boundary.
England have already had two tours called off mid-trip in the past two years through Covid-19, while a home Test against India was also cancelled earlier this year.
In that case, four members of India’s backroom staff had contracted the virus amid fears of a bigger outbreak.
But a defiant Hockley insisted that situation in the Ashes was entirely different.
‘Our protocols are designed for absolutely this set of events. We’ve got strong protocols. We’ve got very comprehensive testing regimes,’ he said.
Day two of the third Test on Monday was delayed by 30 minutes as England were held back at their hotel to return negative rapid tests
If further dramas hit, like-for-like substitute players can be called in, after being approved by the ICC last year for players showing symptoms.
But a full-scale outbreak would no doubt spell a disaster for CA and the series, with each Test a multi-million dollar product for the sport.
Questions also now linger over the locations of the rest of the series with the final two Tests set for Sydney and Hobart.
Under current rules in both NSW and Tasmania, England’s entire team would have been forced to isolate for seven days had they been deemed close contacts.
In essence, it means the Test would have likely been called off on Monday morning had it been played in any other state other than Victoria or NSW.
Following the third Test, players from both sides will be taken from Melbourne to Sydney in a chartered flight and put up in private accommodation.
But despite NSW averaging more than 6,000 cases per day in recent days, Hockley insisted there was no need to change the schedule.
Cricket Australia is adamant that the series should continue as planned, but there are significant grounds for concern
‘That’s not part of our current planning,’ Hockley said.
‘There’s nothing to suggest otherwise. We’ll rely on the protocols. It’s a day-by-day proposition.’
The latest drama comes after Australian skipper Pat Cummins was ruled out of the Adelaide Test after becoming a close contact of a COVID-19 case at a restaurant on the match eve.
The Seven Network required a complete overhaul of their commentary team on Monday, after each of their day-one commentators were deemed close contacts to a case in their broadcast staff.