Some call the Board of Control for Cricket (BCCI) unprofessional and archaic in its functioning. Well, it is an individual perception but we can tell you that the mandarins of Indian cricket are superstitious too. We don’t have evidence of them taking a diversion when a black cat came their way but we, sure, know that they know what brings luck to the Men in Blue.
So when Nike, Team India’s apparel sponsors, unveiled a Twenty20-specific jersey with lot of fanfare, the BCCI officials were not too amused. The jersey was supposed to be worn for Twenty20 matches, more specifically during the forthcoming World Twenty 20 in Sri Lanka. Now we hear that the board has red-flagged the new uniform. That explains why the players stuck to the old colours during Tuesday’s match against New Zealand in Chennai. The board officials, it appears, have taken the ‘old is gold’ adage too seriously.
Not that the new jersey is a fashionista’s delight — it attracted a lot of criticism from connoisseurs for its tacky colour combination. The blue uniform (see picture above) is embellished with patches of saffron, white and green on the left shoulder with the BCCI logo in the middle of it all. Then there are three golden stars representing India’s World Cup wins in 1983, 2007 and 2011.
The jersey brooked some lofty rhetoric from Team India members. “I play with my heart and I play for the national flag. I like this jersey because the national colours are on my heart,” Virender Sehwag had said. Skipper MS Dhoni sounded more practical. “When we switch on the TV and see players in white, we know they are playing Test cricket. Similarly when you see them in blue, you know an ODI is going on. Now that we have a T20 shirt there will be a strong association between the format and the T-shirt,” he had remarked.
But when India take the field in Sri Lanka, they could well appear to be playing a 50-50 game. The BCCI is of the opinion that the existing uniform is lucky. Nike officials were not willing to come on record but sources have told DNA the board wants to stick to the ODI jersey because Dhoni & Co won the 2011 World Cup wearing those colours.
A top board official admitted that in as many words. “We’ve decided to go with the old jersey and we have communicated this to Nike. The players won’t be wearing the new colours,” the official said.