Why Do Cricketers Have Numbers on Their Shirt! [With Fun Facts] | Cricket Mastery (2023)

Cricket is a sport that is all about numbers – and that includes what the players themselves are wearing. Have you ever wondered why a cricketer has a number on the front of his playing shirt? Or why a player might wear a specific number on the back of it? In today’s post, we share with you an interesting history and the story of numbers on cricketers’ shirts!

But first, why do cricketers have numbers on their shirts? The numbers on cricketers shirts help identify a player to the officials, commentators, or even the spectators. The numbers on the front of a player’s shirt indicate the chronological position of their appearance for a particular country. Whereas, numbers on the back are typically self-chosen.

However, these numbers are not always just useful for commentators or spectators alone. Sometimes, the jersey numbers of cricketers have a much larger significance. So, let’s get to know more about it!

Why Do Players Have Numbers on their Back?

Why Do Cricketers Have Numbers on Their Shirt! [With Fun Facts] | Cricket Mastery (1)

The reasons for having numbers are plenty!

Having numbers in big bold fonts makes the job of television and radio commentators and analysts a little easier, allowing them to quickly, and accurately, identify a player on the outfield. When a player takes a brilliant catch or effects a run-out, often in the blink of an eye, it is much easier to single them out by their number.

For the international cricket player of today, a shirt with a number is much more than a quick and easy way of distinguishing their kit from a team-mate in a busy dressing room while everyone is preparing for a match. It can often be something very personal and meaningful to that particular player

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Numbers, of course, also help fans who are watching the game to quickly spot their favorite player. In fact, supporters of the game also often wish to show their loyalty to their favorite player by buying a team shirt with their name and number on.

Sachin Tendulkar, for example, will forever be associated with the No.10 shirt by the Indian fans who worship him for his dazzling achievements with a bat in hand.

The numbers on the back of a players shirt is usually to identify a player in the squad. The squad number selected will typically have some personal significance to the player themselves. It can be anything from their age to religious reasons.

When Did Cricketers Start Wearing Numbers on their Shirts?

Cricket has been known to be played for over a 142 years! But, it was only fairly recently that the players started wearing jersey numbers on the back of their Shirts.

When Did Cricketers Start Wearing Numbers in ODIs?

Australia were the first team to wear numbers on the back of their shirts in one-day cricket during a ODI tri-series with Sri Lanka and West Indies in 1995-96.

Did You Know?
During the 1999 World Cup in England, shirt numbers of the captains of all the teams was 1. South African player Hansie Cronje was the only captain who retained his usual jersey no. 5 and swapped the number 1 with opener Gary Kirsten!

The trend caught on, and by the 1999 World Cup in England, all of the teams had players wearing shirts with numbers on. In that tournament, the captain of the team was given the No.1 shirt with the rest of the team numbered 2-15. But since then it has been less strict, and players have used a whole range of different numbers.

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Since then, all limited-overs cricket matches (ODIs and T20s) have had numbers on the back of the cricketer’s shirt.

When Did Cricketers Start Wearing Numbers in Test Matches?

Why Do Cricketers Have Numbers on Their Shirt! [With Fun Facts] | Cricket Mastery (2)

Numbers on the back of the cricketers has been a more recent addition to the test matches. Although, numbers on white shirts have been around in first-class cricket in England and Australia for some years now.

Numbers in the test matches whites got introduced for the first time during the 2019 Ashes Series between England and Australia, although the players were not required to have numbers printed on jumpers or slipovers.

The decision to put numbers on shirts was led by the ICC as part of their promotional strategy for the World Test Championship in an attempt to make the format more appealing.

However, it was not something which proved particularly popular with cricket traditionalists, including players like Brett Lee who opinioned that the ICC had “got it wrong on this one”.

When did Cricketers Start Wearing Numbers on the Front of their Shirts?

The tradition of wearing numbers on the front of cricket shirts was introduced by Steve Waugh when he took over as Australia’s Test captain in 1999, although the numbers first appeared on caps before later being put on the cricket shirts themselves. England were the first team to put them on their shirts from 2001 onwards.

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What do the Numbers on the Front of the Shirt Mean?

Why Do Cricketers Have Numbers on Their Shirt! [With Fun Facts] | Cricket Mastery (3)

If you have been watching international cricket for the past 20 years or so, you will notice that each player has a number on the front of their shirt as well! It is usually printed quite small in size, and placed just below to the country’s cricket badge or emblem.

The numbers on the front of the cricketer’s shirt represent the player’s position in the chronological list of players to appear for their country in the respective format of the game.

This means, if a player has a number 200 embossed on the front of their shirt, he or she is the player number 200 to represent his country in that particular format of the game.

Did You Know?
Tom Armitage is the holder of shirt No.1 for England, whereas Charles Bannerman, who scored Test cricket’s first run, and its first century, is the holder of No. 1 for Australia. Amar Singh is the holder of India’s No. 1 Test Number. He played his first Test at Lord’s in June 1932.

Since Test cricket dates back further in history, the numbers tend to be higher for newer players than in the shorter formats of the game such as ODI or Twenty20 cricket.

Amar Singh is the holder of India’s No. 1 Test number. He played in India’s first Test against England at Lord’s in June 1932. There have been 295 players to represent India in Test cricket since. Virat Kohli is the 269th player with Shahbaz Nadeem (296) is the latest. Who will get the lucky No. 300 shirt for India? We will have to wait and see.

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How are Jersey Numbers Assigned in Cricket?

As we learned, the numbers on the front are a assigned by the respective cricket board of their country. This is based on their position on the historical record list.

For the numbers on the back of their shirts, ICC nowadays permits players to choose their own numbers

However, some international cricket boards may have a particular number off limits to players. Sachin Tendulkar famously wore the No.10 jersey – which has unofficially been retired by the BCCI in tribute to the great batsman. Rohit Sharma, who wanted the no. 10 jersey after Sachin’s retirement, was denied by the BCCI.

It is interesting to note that Sachin actually began his ODI career with the No.99 shirt.

Some Interesting Story about Jersey Numbers of Cricketers!

When two or more players make their debut together in the same match, the number on the front of their shirt is chosen alphabetically.

In an interesting incident, Michael Slater thought he was Australia’s 356th Test player. So, he bought an MS356 car license plate and got a tattoo with the number. To his surprise, he then discovered that he was actually No. 357! This happened because alphabetically Brendan Julian, who also made his debut during the same match, was assigned the earlier number.

Luckily for Michael Slater, team-mate Brendan Julian agreed to swap the number!

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Current England Test captain Joe Root decided on No.66 for the back of his shirt – it was a play on the words to the famous and historic ‘Route 66’ highway which crossed the United States of America from east to west. Australia’s legendary leg-spinner Shane Warne choose No.23, the number he wore while playing Australian Rules Football in his youth.

Final Thoughts

In cricket we rightly focus on numbers at every moment: the number of runs, number of wickets and the number of catches are never far from our minds whether we are playing or watching the game.

But beyond statistics of the game, the numbers that players wear on their shirts also have a wider significance. The numbers help those of us watching in the stands, or on television, to easily identify players, and also are a great way of connecting those who play the game with cricket’s rich history.


Why are there numbers on cricket shirts? ›

And the answer is that the numbers denote the player's place in history: Michael Vaughan's "600", for example, shows that he was the 600th man to represent England in a Test. Separate numbers apply for one-day internationals: in those, Vaughan is No. 161.

What does the number on a cricketer jersey mean? ›

The number represents how many players have made their Test debuts including the one wearing it. If two or more players make their debut in the same match, they are given numbers alphabetically based on surname.

When did cricketers start wearing numbers? ›

It wasn't until the 1999 Cricket World Cup that jersey numbers became commonplace in cricket. While it was used as early as 1995-96 World Series Cup, the first World Cup to see player jersey numbers was 1999. Since then, the numbers have been an avenue for cricketers to explore their quirky side.

What are the numbers on England cricket shirt? ›

The England cricketers have a number underneath the badge on their test shirts. This number is unique to each player. James Anderson's number is 613 and this represents that when he made his debut in 2003, he was the 613th player to represent England in test matches.

Do cricket players wear numbers? ›

Players in domestic first-class cricket competitions in England and Australia already wear numbers on their backs, but not in other countries. The regulations regarding shirt numbers in the JLT Sheffield Shield set their dimensions and state they must be no longer than two digits.

Do numbers on jerseys mean anything? ›

Like most team sports, soccer players wear individual squad numbers on their jerseys to help officials and fans identify them. However, certain numbers are traditionally associated with specific positions on the field.

How do players choose their numbers? ›

Although players can request a specific kit number from the club, new players will often have a choice of the kit numbers available as part of their negotiation deal when signing for the club. Numbers on football shirts were originally worn in professional matches in 1928 when Arsenal played Sheffield Wednesday.

What is the luckiest jersey number? ›

Seven was the most popular choice for both men and women. The survey revealed some other findings, too.

Who has jersey No 69 in cricket? ›

Let's look at 1 to 100 jersey number in cricket and the stories behind those
Jersey NumberPlayer
67Jason Roy
68Lonwabo Tsotsobe
69Lance Klusener
70Danuska Gunathilaka
96 more rows
Nov 2, 2022

Do female cricketers wear a box? ›

A "box" or abdo guard is as essential for ladies to wear as it is for men. Our Female Abdo Guard has been specially designed for women to enhance their protection and comfort when using a hard ball.

Who has jersey no 333 in cricket? ›

Chris Gayle
Runs scored7,21413,226
Batting average42.1844.83
Top score360166
8 more rows

Why does Gayle wear 333? ›

Later that year, he went on to score his first triple century – 317 against South Africa in St John's. Around five years after that surgery, Gayle piled up his career-best score of 333 against Sri Lanka at Galle in 2010. Gayle hammered nine sixes and 34 fours in a knock that had a strike-rate of over 76.

What are the numbers on shirts? ›

Numbers on the Shirt

The first is the shirt's neck width and the second is the length of the sleeve. There is a range of lengths for sleeves because you can adjust the sleeve length using the cuff buttons. Typically, you'll see options like 32-33, 34-35, and 36-37 for sleeve lengths.

How are England shirt numbers decided? ›

Ahead of the start of a new season, each club will have to designate a specific squad number for each player that will be among their first-team ranks. These chosen squad numbers must then be submitted to the relevant authority and lodged as a player's official digits for the upcoming campaign.

What do the 3 lions on the England cricket shirt represent? ›

Some say this was to represent Richard I's principal three positions as King of the English, Duke of the Normans, and Duke of the Aquitanians. Every succeeding monarch since has used the 3 golden lions on a scarlet background as the Royal Arms, although there have been some deviants through the years.

What are the numbers on the front of cricket shirts? ›

In the text, the numbers that follow the players' names correspond to their place in the chronological list of English Test cricketers. Current players have their chronological number on the front of their shirts. Statistics are correct as of 20 December 2022, after England's tour of Pakistan.

Do cricket players wear a cup? ›

Inside their trousers, cricketers will wear a piece of protective equipment called an abdominal guard. Also known as a cricket box or compression cup, this is a durable, cup-shaped plastic guard, which is designed to protect the groin and pelvic region from hard blows.

What numbers do you use in cricket? ›

Cricket numbers

Cricket uses the numbers 15 to 20 (or sometimes 10 to 20, and less frequently a predetermined selection of numbers) and the bull's-eye. To open or close a number, it must have been scored three times in any fashion, on one or more turns.

What does 0 mean on a jersey? ›

0 isn't wearing a number at all. (And “00” would be doubly controversial.) In sports, players wearing “0” or “00” are uncommon. Most teams won't assign those numbers. Players usually have to request them, perhaps thinking that “0” or “00” will distinguish them and make them stand out.

What does number 7 mean in soccer? ›

7– Right Attacking Midfielders/Wingers. 8– Central/Box-to-Box Midfielder.

Do players pick jersey number? ›

NFL players in certain positions now have more jersey numbers to choose from. An update to the 2021 NFL Rulebook allows defensive backs, tight ends, wide receivers, running backs, fullbacks, H-backs and linebackers to choose from a wider range of available numbers, including single digit numbers.

Is there a number 69 in baseball? ›

69: Bronson Arroyo, 2000-02 Pittsburgh Pirates: Somewhat surprisingly, only six players in Major League history have worn no.

Can you wear 69 in the NBA? ›

The #69 has been banned. No NBA player has ever worn the number 69, which is believed to be implicitly banned due to its sexual connotations; the NBA has never confirmed this. Dennis Rodman had allegedly requested the number 69 when he joined the Dallas Mavericks but was refused and instead wore 70.

What number do most people pick? ›

According to the video, if you ask people to randomly pick any one integer between 1 and 10 (both inclusive), people are more likely to choose 7. They also said that around 45% of people prefer the given choice.

What are the 7 luckiest numbers? ›

The top 10 are: 11, 7, 17, 27,19, 23, 12,13, 9 and 18. So how do you pick lucky numbers? For those who use birthdays, five of the most commonly drawn numbers are more than 31, meaning they are not likely to have picked them. Another approach that is commonly used is to look for numbers that have not come up in a while.

Why is 7 a special number? ›

The number seven was considered to be particularly interesting because it consisted of the union of the physical (number 4) with the spiritual (number 3). In Pythagorean numerology the number 7 means spirituality.

What's my lucky no? ›

To begin with, add the digits in your birth date until you get a single-digit number. For example, if your birthday is January 28, 1992, you would add 1+2+8+1+9+9+2 to get 32. Then, you would add 3+2 to get 5. So, in this case, five would be your lucky number.

Whose jersey number is 777 in cricket? ›

Rishabh Rajendra Pant (born 4 October 1997) is an Indian international cricketer who plays for the Indian cricket team as a wicket-keeper batter.

What does 69 mean in cricket? ›

69 is the sex number. Since numbers were introduced to the backs of limited overs international shirts in the latter half of the 1990s, only a handful of cricketers have worn number 69.

Whose jersey number is 1 in cricket? ›

The Dada of Indian cricket changed his jersey numbers three times in his career. Sourav Ganguly interestingly adopted the number 1 from Sachin Tendulkar and later 99 after Sachin chose to change his number to 10. Eventually, Sourav chose number 24 as his jersey number in 2003.

What is a female cricketer called? ›

In women's cricket, the term "batswoman" is sometimes encountered, as is "batter", but the male form is widely used in both men's and women's cricket.

Are women's cricket balls smaller? ›

As well as playing on a smaller field, the women use a smaller and lighter ball than their male counterparts; the Laws of cricket dictate that women should use a ball that is between 4+15⁄16 and 5+5⁄16 ounces (139.98 and 150.61 grams); which could be up to 13⁄16 ounces (23.03 grams) lighter than the ball used by the ...

Why cricketers put on their lips? ›

Rizwan is one of the few cricketers, who uses Zinc Oxide, a white cream for skin protection. Cricketers generally apply Zinc oxide on the nose, cheeks, lips, back of the neck, or their hands, as these are the areas directly exposed to the sunlight.

Why did Dhoni choose 7? ›

"A lot of people initially thought that 7 is a lucky number for me and all of that. But I chose the number for a very simple reason. I was born on the 7th of July. So it's the 7th day of the 7th month, that was the reason," Dhoni told fans during a virtual interaction held by India Cements.

What is the luckiest number in cricket? ›

The Jersey Number 10 has been the most famous among cricket fans. He scored 34357 runs in the international career.

Why 111 is called Nelson in cricket? ›

In cricket, the number 111 is sometimes called "a Nelson" after Admiral Nelson, who allegedly only had "One Eye, One Arm, One Leg" near the end of his life. This is in fact inaccurate—Nelson never lost a leg. Alternate meanings include "One Eye, One Arm, One Ambition" and "One Eye, One Arm, One Arsehole".

Whose jersey number is 999? ›

Yusuf Pathan's Number 999 Jersey.

Who is the king of T20? ›

Virat Kohli is the leading run scorer in T20 Internationals, with 4,008 runs.

Has Chris Gayle hit 6 sixes? ›

Apart from Gayle, his West Indies teammates Kieron Pollard and Andre Russell are in the top three list for most sixes in T20 cricket. While Pollard has hit 794 sixes, Russell has smashed 582 maximums.
Most sixes in T20 cricket.
Chris Gayle4631056
Kieron Pollard614794
Andre Russell432582
Brendon McCullum370485
6 more rows
Feb 6, 2023

What does number mean in clothing? ›

Why is it called a “number”? A: The word “number” is often used in ways that have nothing to do with arithmetic, and this is one of them. Since the late 19th century, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, “number” has been used to mean “an article of clothing.”

What does 36 mean in shirts? ›

SizeTo fit Chest SizeTo fit Neck Size
6 more rows

Is number 14 lucky? ›

This unique combination makes the number 14 have a lot of power and potential. It is a very lucky number and can be your life path number if you listen to the messages from your guardian angels, especially at mirror hour!

What does number 11 mean in soccer? ›

Number 11. Traditionally a left-sided attacking player, either on the left of a midfield four or of a front three.

Why is number 10 special in soccer? ›

Where does the name 'number 10' originate? The classic number 10 role is so named because it was traditionally the number worn by the player in that position. It was called the 'enganche' in Argentina, which translates as 'hook', to describe its importance in connecting midfield and attack.

What is number 9 in soccer? ›

9 – Striker / Center Forward – Strikers have one aim: to convert passing plays into a goal. That means they'll need to be good with their heads and their feet and quick enough to turn the defenders inside out.

Why is there 10 roses on England badge? ›

They opted for the lions and ten red roses, which are believed to be a nod to the War of the Roses between Lancashire and Yorkshire. England's crest also features one single gold star, which commemorates the World Cup triumph of 1966.

Why does England not have a star on their jersey? ›

Even some national sides have stars on their shirt, with England having one, Germany having four and Brazil a staggering five. Football Associations in their respective countries abide mostly by different rules, with the Premier League not adopting a system to allow clubs to wear stars on their shirt.

Why do India play in blue? ›

It is inspired by the colour Blue which forms the primary colour of the team's home kit, depicting Ashoka Chakra's colour in the national flag (similar to the Indian national teams of other sports) and the Tiger which is the national animal of India.

What are the numbers on cricket cap? ›

The cap is numbered according to how many players have represented that side before them. For example, Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar was the 187th player to represent India at Test level, and was awarded cap number 187. It is also sometimes used to refer to the number of times a player has played.

What do the numbers on the back of England cricket shirt men? ›

When a player debut his career; he/she is given a cap, which shows that the player has become a particular number's player for that country. In the same way a cricket player bears a jersey which has a number on its back side.

How many numbers are on a cricket jersey? ›

1 to 100 jersey number in cricket – The jersey numbers in cricket were first used in the 1999 World Cup, where captain wore the jersey number 1 while others wore from number 2 to 15.

Which is the luckiest jersey number in cricket? ›

The Jersey Number 10 has been the most famous among cricket fans. He scored 34357 runs in the international career.

What does 408 mean in cricket? ›

In a tribute to late Phillip Hughes, the Australian cricket team has decided to wear number 408, the Test debut number of the late batsman, under its national emblem during the first Test against India starting December 9, in Adelaide. File photo.

How rare is a hat-trick in cricket? ›

A hat-trick in cricket is when a bowler takes three wickets on consecutive deliveries, dismissing three different batsmen. It is a relatively rare event in One Day International (ODI) cricket with only 49 occurrences in 4222 matches since the first ODI match between Australia and England on 5 January 1971.

What are cricket hats called? ›

The panama hat is the classic cricket hat as worn by international players. It is fully lined and made from 100 percent cotton.

Can two players have same jersey number in cricket? ›

Cricketers are free to choose the number they wish to have on the t-shirts or not to have it at all. However, no two players of a country in the playing 11 can have the same jersey number. But cricketers from other countries can wear the same jersey number.

Why is root 66? ›

Another reason why Root might have preferred the number 66 behind his jersey must be due to the fact England had won their first and only FIFA World Cup in the year 1966 and to date, it remains the only occasion where that England has hosted or won the World Cup.

What do cricketers wear under their shirts? ›

Svaan Lycra Skin Inner Wear with Full Sleeves for cricket. Soft Internal Fibers Provide Superb Comfort and Insulation.

Whose jersey number 73 in cricket? ›

Mohammed Siraj

What is the most luckiest number? ›

Seven was the most popular choice for both men and women. The survey revealed some other findings, too.

Who is the luckiest person in cricket? ›

Marnus is the luckiest cricketer in the world,” veteran opener David Warner laughed on Amazon documentary series The Test, the second season of which drops on January 13. “Every second innings he gets two or three lives.


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