Gillette ODI Series v New Zealand
Pick the Kit: '99 Blue Stripe or '89 Baseball
Two epic kits worn by two incredible teams go head-to-head in latest fan vote poll
21 February 2019, 11:55 PM AEST
Round Three of our Pick the Kit fan vote pits two of the most distinct outfit classics in a head-to-head showdown.
Cricket Australia, with the support of kit-maker Asics and sponsor Alinta Energy, have thrown open the choice for the design of 2019-20 men's one-day uniform to Australia's fans.
Votes will be collated across the website, CA Live app and social media platforms.
Here, fans can choose between the Blue Stripe uniform worn at the dawn of the 21st Century, or the baseball-style jersey that was in use between 1989 and 1992. Read on for a stroll down memory lane for each kit before voting.
VOTING IS NOW CLOSED. The Blue Stripe kit won 53% of the vote compared to 47% for the Baseball Style kit
The fan vote will be run in a head-to-head format until there's a final winner from the shortlist of eight uniforms worn by some of the greats of Australian cricket in the golden age between 1980 and 1999.
The 1999-2001 Blue Stripe
The coming turn of the century called for a brave new approach in Australian one-day kit design, and the Blue Stripe was born, adding a bold splash of colour and creating a kit that fans either love, or love to hate.
This kit was also the first a legend of Australian one-day cricket wore and is still closely associated with him.
Brett Lee burst onto the scene in the 1999-2000 summer and took 16 wickets in his first ODI series. The highlight was an Australia Day blitz that left India reeling; in 8.5 blistering overs, Lee claimed 5-27 with a flying Stuart MacGill at third man helping the right-armer win his first of many battles with Sachin Tendulkar.
This is the kit current Australia fast bowler Pat Cummins has declared has his support in the fan vote, and who is to argue with the reigning Allan Border Medal winner?
This kit also coincided with the Lee brothers – Shane and Brett – playing together in a side that also featured Steve and Mark Waugh.
And the rise of Andrew Symonds, who entered Australia's ODI side the winter before Blue Stripe was introduced, coincided with this kit, while Nathan Bracken also made his ODI debut in this uniform. A powerful team and the basis of a multiple World Cup winning side.
The Blue Stripe also has the honour of being the first Australian ODI kit worn indoors, when the Aussies met South Africa under the roof at what is now known as Marvel Stadium in Melbourne's Docklands.
In the middle of August, some 35,000 spectators turned out while an Australian Rules match was being played across town, and saw Australia scramble a single off the final ball to force a tie.
Incredible things regularly happened in this kit. Like Brett Lee's magnificent outfield catch in New Zealand, or the time Ricky Ponting took the wicket of West Indies legend Brian Lara, caught behind by Adam Gilchrist at the Gabba in early 2001.
In that same game, Mark Waugh scored an unbeaten 112 not out and Gilchrist added 98 to set an opening-partnership record of 206.
This truly was a joyous era of one-day cricket domination. Of the 32 ODIs Australia played in this kit they won 25, with just five defeats (one wash-out, and the aforementioned tie).
The 1988-92 Baseball Style
Cursive script emblazoned across the chest was a bold new direction for one-day clothing in the late 1980s. But Australia had just come off a World Cup win in India where they wore plain white and something invigorating was required to capture the mood.
This was the peak era of Allan Border and Merv Hughes, of Dean Jones and David Boon and wicketkeeper Ian Healy. And of course, Steve Waugh.
There are few more iconic images that underscore the joy of watching cricket than of Swervin' Mervyn Hughes conducting his beloved MCG Bay 13 in a routine of calisthenics.
"I'm on the boundary in front of Bay 13 and AB (Border) gives me the wave to warm up to bowl. I did a few exercises and heard a bit of a roar but every time I turned around there was nothing happening," Hughes recalled to Wisden recently.
"At the end of the over Deano (Jones) came up and asked me what was going on, and I just said I think they've had too much to drink. He said, 'It's looking good from here, there's 20,000 people copying every exercise, what are you going to do next?'
"I thought, 'Well I might invent a few more exercises.' So that's when I started mucking around with the crowd.
"Over the years I've ran into 100,000 people who claim to have sat in Bay 13 that night. I can't remember Bay 13 being that big!"
Australia debuted this kit at the MCG on Boxing Day in 1988, wearing it in the opening ODI of that summer's World Series against Sri Lanka, with opening batsman Mark Taylor making his debut alongside Greg Campbell – the uncle of Ricky Ponting.
Australia would win eight of their 10 matches that summer, beating Pakistan in the finals as Jones was crowned player of the series.
In all, Australia won 36 of their 44 ODIs during this period. Their last ODI outing was a 10-game World Series against India and the West Indies that began in December 1991 and resumed in January 1992 after a break for Test cricket.
This series brought with it another fabled moment of Australian sporting folklore – Steve Waugh's running catch behind the sight screen at the MCG. None less than Richie Benaud called it "one of the greatest catches I've ever seen in any class of cricket" and none who saw it, either at the ground or among the millions watching on TV, will forget it.
Australia won this tournament too, beating India in the final, and that was the last we saw of this baseball-inspired kit, while Border later attributed fatigue from this series as a reason for the country's underperformance at the 1992 World Cup that followed.