A cricket player’s jersey number is his form of identification in the game. You may even call it a tag. Every player has an inscription of this significant number alongside their surname at the back of their jersey. It is easier to remember the jersey number of a cricketer than their actual name. Now, how are these jersey numbers allocated?
Every cricketer has the liberty to pick a random figure with which they will be identified. No organization has the responsibility or authority to impose a jersey number on any player. Each player must pick a number from the available ones he considers a number, and that number is branded on his jersey.
However, asides from the rear number, a cricketer also has another number in front of his jersey. The front number is not primarily a means of identification but an indication of the player’s position in the list of players representing the country.
While all players are free to choose whichever number they want to be embedded with, no two players from the same team or country can duplicate numbers. When two players pick the same number, the number is assigned to the player whose name comes first alphabetically.
Can a Cricket Jersey Be Numbered 0?
Many thought this was impossible until 2017 when Mashrafe Mortaza stormed the Bangladesh Premier League with a number 0 jersey.
This action brought to the limelight that cricket players are allowed to choose any number or no number at all. Mortaza must have figured that out before most of us and decided to bring it to our knowledge.
However, most cricketers still argue the vagueness of the number zero as a jersey number. Teams seldom agree to assign the number to a player unless he proves himself to be a prolific player worthy of this unique feat.
What Happens To a Players Jersey After a Match?
Cricket players hardly repeat jerseys during games. The cricket board has made provision for players to get a daily replacement of the previously used jerseys.
Each player can get up to 8-10 jerseys for a one-day series, though they end up using about 3-5. After the match, the jerseys that got torn during the match are trashed.
Stadiums normally have laundry services, so if a player feels the need to reuse a jersey, it can be quickly washed, ironed, and made ready.
With an ample supply of jerseys, most players tend to have a bulk of them. While some players tend to store up their jerseys (although it’s the new players who mostly do this), other players give them out to friends, family, or fans. Some players would even give out their jerseys to be sold, and the funds accrued from sales are donated to charity.
Why Don’t Cricket Players Take Off Their Shirts During a Match?
You may have noticed that cricketers do not get as loud and rowdy as footballers do during a game, nor do they take off their jerseys and slide down the pitch in hyper excitement.
Well, cricket is considered a serene sport. Some even refer to it as a ‘Gentleman’s game.’
Moreover, excessive goal celebrations are prohibited as they tend to disrupt the game and take a pinch out of the allocated time for the game. This rule is also present in football, although it is not as strictly observed as in cricket. Footballers often flout this rule even though FIFA imposed a yellow card penalty on offenders.
In addition, cricket players do not give their jerseys to players midway through the game as some footballers do. In the case that a cricketer wants to give a fan his jersey, he would pick one out of a separate pile of unused ones.
What Is a Retired Number In Cricket?
The term ‘Retired Number’ is not confined to Cricket only but is also used in other sports. It generally refers to the act of honoring an outstanding player upon their death, retirement, or exit from the group. When a player’s number is retired, no other player can take up that particular number except with permission from the honoree.
The team hangs the jersey of the player in their home arena. This is by far one of the greatest honors a sportsperson can be bestowed with.
In the history of the cricket game, three players have been deemed worthy and conferred with the title:
- Philip Hugh: This was the first cricketer to be honored with a retired number. Unfortunately, b was not alive to witness this honor. It was the circumstances surrounding his death that promoted cricketers worldwide to move a motion for his acknowledgment. Before his death, Hugh occupied the number 64. He lost consciousness during a match on the 25th of November after being shot by a bounce to the side of the head. The shot caused a cerebral hemorrhage which led to his death two days later. He was 25 years old at the time, and his 26th birthday was only three days away.
- Sachin Tendulkar: Tendulkar was the second cricketer to be awarded this honor. His number 10 jersey was unofficially retired from the Indian men’s cricket in 2017 by the BCCI. His significant number 10 spot was becoming a contentious position and was beginning to create animosity among players. It was retired to quell all the controversies it was garnering.
- Paras Khadka: This Asian is undoubtedly Nepal’s greatest cricket player and arguably on the list of the world’s best. He was nicknamed the ‘Jack of all Trades’ due to his efficiency and competence in all game positions, and the captain sure did live up to this expectation.
Nepal’s most successful cricket captain took a bow into retirement on the 3rd of August and left jersey number 77 without a successor.
Although he had forfeited the captaincy of the nation’s cricket team back in 2019, he stayed around to assist the new coach while rendering his much-needed service to the team.
When Did Numbering of Jerseys Begin?
The Indians were the first people in history to begin the trend of jersey numbering. This was recorded to be over a century ago with no specified year.
However, numbered jerseys were brought into England’s limelight by Chelsea and Arsenal in their game against Sheffield in August 1928.
The game of cricket has been in existence for over 142 years, but they only joined the jersey numbering train in 1995/1996, with an Australian team making its debut. By 1999 it had already become a global trend as every team in the world showed up at the 1999 World Cup with numbered jerseys.
My Favorite Cricket Equipment
Thanks for reading this article. I hope it brought you value that you can implement into your own life! Below you can find my favorite cricket equipment that I think you’ll like!
- Bat: My favorite cricket bat is the SS Kashmir Willow Cricket Bat, perfect for leather balls, beginners, and intermediate players. I’m not a competitive cricket player, so this affordable yet fantastic bat gets the job done. The best things about it are the blade size, weight, durability, and overall feel.
- Cricket balls: Pro Impact Cricket Balls are the creme of cricket balls. These balls are even fit for professional cricket matches, so the quality is incredible. For intermediate and better players, these balls are great. However, a traditional leather cricket ball may be hard to play for beginners and juniors. That’s why balls such as Nivia Hard Tennis Balls are made for cricket.
- Cricket shoes: Are you tired of focusing on your every step and fearing which step you will slip? When using the Kookaburra Pro 300 Cricket Shoes, you can forget all of that. These shoes are comfortable and slip-resistant; however, they won’t slow your movement on the field.
- Fan Equipment: If you’re a fan more than a player, you don’t want to miss Fan Equipment by Fanatics. You can find items from various sports that bear your favorite team’s logo, such as jerseys, gift ideas, or other surprising things.