Players have a unique connection with their jersey numbers. The reasons for choosing a number vary – from it being their date of birth to lucky number to top score – but it serves a common purpose of giving the player a sense of comfort.
While some are very superstitious about the number on their jersey, others simply don’t care.
Here are the stories behind cricketers’ jersey numbers.
VIRAT KOHLI: Number 18
There are quite a few theories about the Indian captain’s jersey number in the online world. Some suggest it is a tribute to his late father who died on December 18, 2006 when Kohli was just 18. However, the star revealed the reason behind his choice of jersey number is a less emotional one. Kohli told bcci.tv: “There is no particular reasons for it. When I joined the India Under-19 team, that’s the number I was given and I held on to it.”
ROHIT SHARMA: Number 45
His mum picked it. No seriously. Rohit Sharma has revealed it was his mother who chose the number for him. “My mom picked it for the Under-19 World Cup and it is working for me,” Sharma said. As they say, mother knows best.
MS DHONI: Number 7
MS Dhoni was born on the seventh day of the seventh month in 1981. So seven is his lucky number. The number not only appears on his jersey but is also the name of his brand that includes branded footwear, apparel and accessories.
MARLON SAMUELS: Number 730
One of the more interesting jersey numbers. The West Indies batsman was banned for two years in 2008 for improper dealings with a bookmaker. Upon his return, he wore the jersey number 730 in the Bangladesh Premier League, signifying the number of days he had to stay away from the game.
SHANE WARNE: Number 23
One of the most iconic jersey numbers across sport. Michael Jordan wore it. So did David Beckham and LeBron James. Aussie spin great too sported that number but it was in honour of legendary Australian Rules footballer and Hall-of-Famer Dermott Brereton.
MORNE MORKEL: Number 65
It’s got nothing to do with his date of birth. Morne Morkel wears the jersey number 65 because, well he is six feet and five inches tall. So he lets everyone know how tall he is. Sweet.
CHRIS GAYLE: Number 333
Chris Gayle is the most influential T20 cricketer of all time. But before the slam bang version of Gayle took the world by storm, he was a Test cricketer of some repute. His highest Test score is 333. Hence, the jersey number.
ASHWELL PRINCE: Number 5+0
Prince wore the jersey number ‘5+0’ in memory of the late South African captain Hansie Cronje, who passed away in a helicopter crash. Cronje used to wear the number 5 jersey and Prince came up with the unique jersey number to pay his respects.
SACHIN TENDULKAR: Numbers 99 and 10
The great Indian batsman picked two distinct numbers in his career. He first made the number 99 famous. But his astrologer asked him to change it to 10 for success. He ultimately settled on that number and the Indian cricket board unofficially retired that jersey number.
VIRENDER SEHWAG: None
Sehwag started off with 44 and 46 to improve his luck and form. But he abandoned it altogether after no ‘special’ number improved his form. It created a bit of an issue during ICC tournaments where jersey numbers are mandatory.
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