The upcoming World Test Championship will feature jersey numbers behind the white shirts for the first time but there are two numbers that the Indian team is unlikely to use during the Test series against the West Indies in Antigua starting 22 August.
Sachin Tendulkar’s famous jersey No 10 has already been “unofficially retired” by the BCCI from white-ball cricket after pacer Shardul Thakur wore it briefly and was heavily trolled on social media.
While no Indian players wear the No 10 jersey as a mark of respect for Tendulkar’s stupendous achievements, there is a strong possibility that jersey No 7 worn by Mahindra Singh Dhoni in limited-overs will also not be used in the days’ format.
It is learned that most of the Indian players will opt for their limited-overs jersey numbers.
“Virat is expected to wear 18 while Rohit wears 45. Most of the players will wear their respective ODI and T20 numbers. Since MS is no longer playing Test cricket, jersey No.7 is available but there is very little chance that any of the players will wear it,” a senior BCCI official told PTI on condition of anonymity.
“People relate jersey No 7 with MS. The consignment of numbered jerseys will only arrive in the Caribbean only after ODI series,” he added.
While a jersey can’t be retired officially, the BCCI may mull a move as Dhoni’s stature in Indian cricket is such and they also have the Thakur trolling incident on the back of their minds.
Dhoni, who has been playing limited-overs internationals since 2015, has taken a two-month sabbatical to serve the Parachute Regiment under the Territorial Army where he is an Honorary Lieutenant Colonel.
The Ashes, starting 1 August, will be the first bilateral under the World Championship banner. It will also be the first such series where players will have jersey numbers.
The move by ICC is an effort to popularise the game and help fans connect better with the players.
Writer: Sakshi Gupta