A first in the world of Test cricket is being proposed for Australian players – having their names and a number on the back of their shirts.
According to cricket.com.au, Cricket Australia is said to be well down the path of arranging the production of numbered attire.
If the proposed change goes ahead, it will be the first time an international Test team has worn numbers and names.
Both the Sheffield Shield in Australia and the English County Championship already use the numbered shirts.
Players have worn white or cream clothing since the introduction of Test cricket in 1877.
While some have been bothered by the proposal, Australian cricketer Travis Head said he would welcome the change.
“It doesn’t bother me in the slightest, and I think if it helps the fans then that’s a good thing,” Head told cricket.com.au.
“That’s why they brought it into Shield cricket, so that people could identify players they probably don’t see all that often, especially now with games being live-streamed.
“Obviously, the detail in the television coverage these days is pretty good, so I guess this is aimed more at people who are at the ground.”
I've become used to them. At the SCG spectators can usually get a printed team list with the numbers. What I don't like is when players wear the wrong shirt. That happens too often even in internationals.
— Rick Eyre on cricket (@rickeyrecricket) March 19, 2019
I stand firmly behind my opinion (however worthless it might be) that this is not the way to revitalize test cricket. It's numbers on backs today and 10 more logos on sleeves tomorrow. That's all.
— I_Know (@homofapien) March 19, 2019
What's wrong with test cricket?
– Uncompetitive series
– Broken ranking system
– Placid pitches
– Incoherent scheduling
How are we going to fix it?
– SLAP SOME NAMES AND NUMBERS ON THE BACK OF THEM KITS.
— Change of Pace (@ChangeofPace414) March 19, 2019
Shirt numbers being introduced in Test cricket. Ugh. Hey @CricketAus, can I recommend white numbers with a white outline, they’d look great 😉
— BigBashBoard (@BigBashBoard) March 19, 2019
Head said another reason for his support was that the change was purely cosmetic.
“It’s not like the introduction of the pink ball for Test cricket, it’s one of those innovations that won’t have a huge impact on the game itself,” he said.
“But if it means kids can identify their favourite player a bit more easily at the ground, then I’m all for it.”
Change destined for Ashes
The changes to players’ kit has been proposed ahead of the ICC Test Championship, which begins in August.
Numbered shirts are being prepared for Australia’s team ahead of the upcoming Ashes series against England.
The upcoming ICC Cricket World Cup, as well as an Australia A Test series set to run at roughly the same time, are likely to be crucial when it comes to selecting the side.