The final hurdle to a 365-day professional sports calendar in Australia will fall this year after the National Basketball League (NBL) said on Wednesday it had scheduled a game on Christmas Day. The most important holiday on the Christian calendar has been a day without sport for half a century, with fans having to wait until December 26 to get their fix when the Melbourne cricket ground hosts the annual Boxing Day test cricket match.
This year, however, defending champion Sydney Kings will host Melbourne United in a professional basketball game at the Sydney Super Dome on the evening of December 25. Jeremy Loeliger said in a press release.
“Sports fans across Australia and New Zealand have been asking for live sport over Christmas and we are thrilled to bring them world-class basketball and entertainment on what is a very special day for so many. of people.” The idea is not entirely unprecedented, and Sheffield Shield cricket matches were frequently played at Adelaide Oval on Christmas Day until the late 1960s.
Australia lost the third Test of cricket to the West Indies at the same ground on 25 December 1951 and beat India in a match which included action on Christmas Day 1967, also in Adelaide. Further, the National Basketball League (NBA) in the United States has held games on December 25 since the 1940s, while the National Football League (NFL) has a full Christmas Day schedule this year, the party falling on a Sunday.
Top-flight football on Christmas Day was a mainstay of the English sporting calendar until 1959 and the practice continued in Scotland until the 1970s.
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