Shirt numbers to be worn in Ashes series

David Charlesworth
England and Australia will wear names and numbers on their shirts during The Ashes

This year's Ashes series will see players from England and Australia wearing shirts with their surname and a number on their back of their whites.

The ICC has confirmed the initiative to Press Association Sport as part of a much wider promotional plan around the World Test Championship.

England and Australia's latest battle for the urn begins on August 1 and will mark the beginning of the Test Championship, a nine-team competition set to run until 2021 which - it is hoped - could give added context to the longest format of the game.

Names and numbers on the back of shirts have been a distinction in the limited-overs formats for a number of years and worn by players in both the Sheffield Shield and the County Championship.

But it will prove a watershed in Test cricket, in which matches have been played in plain cream or white shirts since the inaugural game between England and Australia in 1877.