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Dec-23-2012 22:19printcomments

Boxing Day Protest Outside the Melbourne Cricket Ground

The group wants to boycott the Sri Lankan cricket team and raise awareness of human rights violations.

Sri Lanka cricket protest in Melbourne

(MELBOURNE) - Police will closely monitor a planned Boxing Day protest outside the Melbourne Cricket Ground, but are not anticipating any major disruptions.

The Tamil Refugee Council is organising a 9am (AEDT) demonstration outside the MCG on the first day of the Boxing Day Test between Australia and Sri Lanka.

The group wants to boycott the Sri Lankan cricket team and raise awareness of human rights violations.

Victoria Police Superintendent Rod Wilson says officers have met with the group ahead of the Test series and discussed the planned protest.

"We'll have a separate policing operation to deal with that," he told reporters on Monday.

"As long as they do it in a peaceful manner, there will be no issue for Victoria Police."

Police will also flood the stadium grounds and nearby public transit locations with officers to target drink drivers and anti-social behaviour.

But Supt Wilson said cricket crowds have steadily improved over the past five years with the number of evictions at the Boxing Day Test on a continuing decline.

"Cricketing crowds are getting it," he said.

"There is a lot of police and a lot of security. We're very proactive with our evictions."

Cricket Australia Executive General Manager of Operations Mick McKenna said most fans have got the message with only pockets of people still causing trouble.

Between 65,000 and 70,000 people are expected to attend the first day of the Test.

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