The MCG: How it compares?

7:17 pm on 26 March 2015

Australian cricket great Matthew Hayden reckons his former side will be licking their lips at the thought of meeting New Zealand in the Cricket World Cup final.

Melbourne Cricket Ground

The MCG is often referred to by locals as "The G". Photo: CC: Alexander Sheko

Of course, first they have to beat India today - horse, cart anyone?

Hayden has said that the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), where the final will be hosted, is too big for New Zealand's big shot lust.

"There were a number of times [against South Africa] … where the New Zealand batsmen appeared to be hitting big balls - but they'd be getting caught three-quarters of the way to the fence at the MCG. They're going to have to change the way they hit the ball," he said.

New Zealand pace bowler Matt Henry rejected Hayden's view today.

"We've played cricket around the world so nothing really changes, it's just - you adapt to the conditions … With some of the boys in our team, some boundaries aren't big enough. We don't need to worry about that."

So how does the MCG compare to other cricket grounds? Here are six facts:

  • It is a monster. The 13th largest stadium in the world and the largest to host cricket, it can hold up to 100,000 fans, though typically a little less for cricket matches.
  • Given its size, the boundaries are bigger than any in New Zealand; Hayden's basic point (he was always quite blunt) is fine. The field area is 173.6 metres long by 148.3 metres wide, fence to fence. The boundary lines are located five metres inside the fence line. However, that means there is also a lot of empty space.
  • Martin Guptill's six in Wellington, which cleared the stadium roof, would easily have sailed high up into the MCG's stands.
  • The largest single-day crowd for a cricket match, 91,112, marched up on Boxing Day 2013, when Australia played England as part of the Ashes series. The biggest crowd of all, 130,000, came to see the preacher Billy Graham in 1959. Divine intervention?
  • The ground also houses the National Sports Museum and you can take a tour - on non-event days.
  • The ground has 114 sprinklers and the grass is a mixture of couch and rye. It, apparently, has a "sand-based" profile giving it "remarkable drainage characteristics".
  • Unsurprisingly, Hayden isn't the first person to notice that the MCG is on the large side, with the hashtag #MCGSoBig currently trending on Twitter. Here are some of the best...

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