Australian cricket fans have set a new Test match record – for attendances over a summer that did not feature England or India.
A total of 521,725 came along to the six-match Commonwealth Bank Test series that featured South Africa and Pakistan, eclipsing the previous record of 515,157 in 2005-06, featuring the West Indies and South Africa (also over six Tests).
Other records set were the highest attendance at the Gabba in Brisbane for a non-Ashes Test (78,085) since records began in 1979, the highest ever attendance for a Pakistan Test match at the SCG, and a Day 1 record on Boxing Day in Melbourne for a Pakistan Test (63,478 v. 61,552 in 2004).
The 2016-17 season will also be remembered as the highest attended non-Ashes Test summer since 2007-08 (featuring India), and the third highest non-Ashes Test summer on record.
The chief executive officer of Cricket Australia, James Sutherland, said it was a remarkable result, especially given one day was lost to rain in Hobart (a Sunday), and rain also affected the matches in Melbourne and Sydney.
“This just shows that Australians love Test cricket, they enjoy the ebb and flow of the game, and they relish the battle that quality visiting teams bring.
“In particular, the day-night Tests in Adelaide and Brisbane were both a great success, and the public’s support of the Pink Test in Sydney was marvellous.
“We had a tough start to the summer – with all credit due to the South Africans and the way they played – and it was especially pleasing to see the way our players bounced back and were supported by big crowds at the last four games.’’
Highest attendance for a Test summer not featuring England or India:
2016-17: 521,725 (South Africa and Pakistan, six Tests).
Previous highest: 2005-06; 515,157; West Indies and South Africa (six Tests).
Record Ashes: 2006-07; 819,447
Record India: 2003-04; 565,212 (with Tests against Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe)
Highest attendance non-Ashes Test summer since 2007-08
(529,630, India and Sri Lanka, six Tests)
Third highest non-Ashes Test summer on record
Highest: 2003-04; 565,212; India, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe.
Second highest: 2007-08; 529,630; India and Sri Lanka
Highest attendance non-Ashes Gabba Test (since records began in 1979)
2016-17: 78,085. Previous record: 2007; 55,947; v. Sri Lanka
Highest attendance for a Pakistan Test match at the SCG
2016-17: 112,029. Previous record: 2005; 105,407
Highest Day 1 for a Boxing Day Test, MCG, v. Pakistan
2016-17: 63,478. Previous record: 61,552; 2004-05
Attendance for all Tests this summer:
Perth v South Africa = 45,647
Hobart v South Africa = 17,783
Adelaide v South Africa = 125,993
Brisbane v Pakistan = 78,085
Melbourne v Pakistan = 142,188
Sydney v Pakistan = 112,029
Total = 521,725.