New look revealed for Test shirts
Australia A took the field for their first red-ball match of the tour in their Test whites, complete with names and numbers on the back
Sam Ferris in Brighton
8 July 2019, 08:00 AM AEST
The new era of Test cricket had its soft launch on Sunday in Arundel when Tim Paine strode out to the middle of the picturesque venue dressed in his whites with his name and a No.7 emblazoned in dark green on the back of his shirt.
Paine, who is captain of Australia A for their match against Sussex, was wearing the same shirt he will wear in the five-Test Ashes series that starts August 1 in Birmingham.
Names and numbers on playing shirts has been the norm in limited-overs cricket for decades but that's about to change in Test cricket, starting with this year's five-Test Ashes series.
The Ashes will be the first series in the new Test Championship, a competition between the top nine Test nations spread over a two-year period that culminates in a grand final in June 2021, and part of the playing conditions is the introduction of names and numbers on shirts in order to engage new fans and help identify the players.
While the move from the ICC to put names and numbers on Test kits has drawn some reluctance from certain players who prefer to stick to the traditional 'clean' uniforms, the new look was on show for the 1000-strong crowd in Arundel.
However, the requirement for names and numbers on the back has not been extended to the traditional woolen sweatshirt or vest in common use in England's summer, as pictured above.
Australia A paceman Josh Hazlewood is one of those traditionalists but the right-armer bowled the first over the match with a brand-new Dukes ball in his right hand and No.38 on his back.
Names and numbers are used in first-class cricket in England and Australia, while it's not uncommon to see the initials of a player stitched into their sleeve or below the badge on their shirt.
Test batsman Travis Head, who wears No.62, is an advocate for the initiative at the highest level.
"It doesn't bother me in the slightest, and I think if it helps the fans then that's a good thing," Head told cricket.com.au in March.
"That's why they brought it into Shield cricket, so that people could identify players they probably don't see all that often, especially now with games being live-streamed.
"Obviously, the detail in the television coverage these days is pretty good, so I guess this is aimed more at people who are at the ground."
Full list of Australia A playing numbers
Jackson Bird – 3
Joe Burns – 15
Marcus Harris – 14
Josh Hazlewood – 38
Travis Head – 62
Jon Holland – 41
Michael Neser – 18
Tim Paine – 7
Kurtis Patterson – 35
James Pattinson – 19
Will Pucovski – 12
Chris Tremain – 99
Australia A tour of the UK
Get live scores and all the latest news from Australia A's tour of the UK on cricket.com.au and the CA Live app
Australia A one-day squad: Travis Head (c), Matthew Wade, Will Pucovski, Peter Handscomb, Mitch Marsh (vc), D'Arcy Short, Kurtis Patterson, Ashton Agar, Michael Neser, James Pattinson, Josh Hazlewood (vc), Sean Abbott, Andrew Tye
Australia A four-day squad: Tim Paine (c), Marcus Harris, Kurtis Patterson, Will Pucovski, Travis Head (vc), Peter Handscomb, Matthew Wade, Mitch Marsh, Michael Neser, Jon Holland, James Pattinson, Jackson Bird, Josh Hazlewood (vc), Chris Tremain
July 7-10: Australia A v Sussex, Arundel
July 13-16: Australia A v England Lions, Canterbury
July 23-26: Australia v Australia A, Hampshire