Bit of a different post for me but what can I say? I am hit by cricket fever too! Its contagious and my home right now is 100% cricket obsessed. Talking to DJ who is a major cricket fan (and runs a cricket podcast called Edges and Sledges) I ended up learning a lot about cricket – the game in general and all the politics and issues behind it as well. The jersey issue during the Cricket World Cup caught my attention and I started wondering about the place of sports jerseys not only the specific sports but also in fashion.
The Indian Away Jersey Drama
DJ filled me in on the drama that took place about the Indian ‘away’ jersey.
So India just unvieled its first ever ‘away’ jersey at its 2019 Cricket World Cup match against England. While the new jersey failed to bring India the desired result, it certainly inspired a lot of comment.
New ICC rules that came into effect for the Cricket World Cup allowed the hosts England to retain their colour, while the away team (India) had to change its jersey colour. The BCCI chose a dark blue colour paired with orange. Naturally, this brought with it controversy.
Was this a sympton of saffronisation of cricket? Or was this just a new money-spinner for Nike, which was selling each jersey for £70? Kohli gave it a 8 on 10 saying he preffered the usual royal blue jersey. The away jerseys sold out within 15 minutes at the ground so clearly the fans bought into the concept.
I am a sceptic so I’ll say it: this is such a wasteful marketing gimmick and totally illogical. Firstly, India also played Afganistan and both teams have very similar jerseys in similar colours but apparently this did not cause any confusion. Secondly, in footbal which is a contact sport the colour and design of your jersey is important. You need a striking or a different colour to know if the person right behind you is your teammate or one of the opposite team. This is not an issue in cricket. I mean there are only 2 players of one team on the field at any given time and you know where they stand. How is this an issue?
Jerseys in Other Sports
One main difference I see in jerseys in cricket and football is how football jerseys are worn as normal leisure/ athleisure wear while I don’t see the same thing happen for cricket jerseys. Cricket jerseys only seem to come out for games while I have seen football jerseys worn in pubs and out in the street although probably not for the fashion factor. So much so that fancy cocktail bars in London actually specify on their dress code that football jerseys are not to be worn. I always wonder why this is the case even in my home country India where cricket is way bigger than it is here. I don’t see people wearing their cricket team jerseys out and about. Can you guys think of a reason why?
Wearing jerseys has always been a little controversial. I remember going to an IPL game in Mumbai and I ended up wearing the wrong blue. Unfrtunately for me the blue I wore matched the blue worn by the Delhi team instead. It was awkward to say the least.
Jerseys as High Fashion?
I outright dismissed the idea of a jersey as a high fashion item. Most jerseys are sold as a mass market item, not really as a luxury product or for technical sports purposes to keep prices low. But there is a jersey adjacent fashion market which can get quite high fashion, even in mass appeal sports like football. These are not really jerseys you would wear to games but are either normal casual (and usually quite expensive) clothing like what Fred Perry has for football and what Ralph Lauren has for tennis, specially Wimbledon.
Another thing I found quite interesting is the way jerseys work in indivisual sports like tennis. There are no jerseys so as to speak so the best you can have as a fan is to invest in Andy Murrays Castor collection or Novak Djokovic’s collection from Lacoste. I am only waiting for the Serena Williams tennis collection now!
Hope you guys enjoyed this slightly different post from me. Lots happening on our Instagram stories. Satarupa is in Vietnama and I went for Pride this weekend so everything is on Instagram! I hope you are already following us on Instagram? Of course we are on Facebook, Twitter and all the rest and would love to hear from you. Do you have a jersey? And when do you wear it?