First published 1962, second and third editions, 1974 and 1988. This fourth edition, wholly revised in 2000.
This is the story of the Melbourne Cricket Club and its famous ground, the MCG – a rock-solid, friendly, awesoem place of contest and assembly, and one of the world’s great sports stadia.
The club was founded in 1838 by five keen cricketers. In 1853 it was granted the use of the gently sloping police paddock in Yarra Park. Since then it has been a driving force not only in cricket, but in many Victorian, national and international fields of sporting life.
The club participated in the first intercolonial cricket match in 1851, against Van Diemen’s Land; staged the first international cricket contest at the MCG in 1862 and the first combination match, a test match, against England in 1877. It also sponsored the first eight Australian teams to tour England and four English teams to tour Australia, all before the establishment of an Australian cricket authority.
A club secretary launched the idea of Australian Rules Football to keep cricketers fit during the winter. The club sponsored the first intercolonial tennis match against New South Wales, and helped establish baseball in Australia. It hosted the 1956 Olympics and the 2000 Olympics soccer matches. It has fostered bowls, lacrosse, rifle shooting and other sports, and introduced major innovations in sports facilities and technology, including electronic sightscreens, state-of-the-art arena lighting and the cricket world’s first full-colour scoreboard with instant replay.
With perception and wit, Keith Dunstan tells us how in a hundred-and-fifty years a paddock has grown into a stadium without equal for Test cricket, Australian Football, royal tours, papal visits, military tattoos and celebrity concerts.