<i>MCG is Mekong Cricket Ground!</i>
An April Fool's Day prank in Australia suggesting a Chinese firm wanted to buy naming rights for the famous Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) sparked a furious online reaction Wednesday.
In a sign of sensitivities at Chinese takeover activity in Australia's mining sector, the story on the Herald Sun's website saying the stadium would be renamed the Mekong Cricket Ground drew more than 200 comments by midday.
While many realised it was a joke -- with the story quoting a spokeswoman named April Fulton -- most expressed anger at the idea of renaming the 100,000 capacity ground regarded as a symbol of Australia's second largest city.
"Let's just give up this whole country to the Asians and be done with it," posted "Mister Master."
"What did our diggers (soldiers) fight and die for in the past wars???? And they still expect us to be patriotic. This country is selling its soul."
Anthony of Melbourne expressed similar sentiments.
"Are we serious... de we have to sell everything to the Asians!!!
"They are taking over the world, and we are letting them. I am not being racist when I say this, but aside from the Australian Asians, what possible interest do China have in the MCG?"
A reader using the name Cam linked the story to recent Chinese moves to buy stakes in Australian resources firms.
"The Chinese corporate takeover of Australia has begun," he posted. "OZ Minerals, Rio Tinto, Fortescue Minerals, now the MCG. What next?"