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 August 22.
Sachin Tendulkar’s famous jersey No 10 has already been “unofficially retired” by Board of Control for Cricket in India from white-ball cricket after pacer Shardul Thakur wore it briefly and was heavily trolled on social media.
While no Indian player wears the No 10 jersey as a mark of respect for Tendulkar’s achievements, there is a strong possibility that jersey No 7 worn by World Cup-winning Mahendra Singh Dhoni in limited-overs will also not be used.
It is learnt that most of the Indian players will opt for their limited-overs jersey numbers. “Virat is expected to wear 18 while Rohit wears 45,” a senior BCCI said.
He added, “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.
“People relate jersey No 7 with MS. The consignment of numbered jerseys will only arrive in Caribbean only after ODI series.”
While a jersey can’t be retired officially, the BCCI may think about such a move as Dhoni’s stature in Indian cricket is such.
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 August 1, will be the first bilateral under the World championship ambit. It will also be the first such international series where players will have jersey numbers on the back of their shirts.