Zeroes and beyond
Herschelle Gibbs could light up a cricket field with his extraordinarily hand-eye coordinated strokes, but he did so in a handful of jersey numbers that started right from 00. In 2005, Gibbs decided to have different jersey numbers each year, with the last two digits of the year making up his jersey number. He went through 05, 06, 07, 08 and 09 before switching to 74 – the year he was born was 1974 – for Mumbai Indians.
Special characters, anyone?
Ashwell Prince had the jersey number 5, formerly used by Hansie Cronje. After the untimely death of the South African skipper, the number was retired and Prince started using a queer ‘5+0’ on the back of his jersey.
The triple digits
Personal landmarks on their jerseys are always in fashion among cricketers. Chris Gayle famously sported the number ‘333’ on his jersey. It was his highest Test score.
Muttiah Muralitharan, who used to sport the number 8 on his back, wore the famous 800 jersey for Chennai Super Kings in the IPL, reminding the world of his jaw-dropping Test wicket tally.
Kamran Akmal’s back read 158, his highest Test score, while Hardik Pandya sported 228 for a while, a score he made for the under-16 Baroda side when walking in at 23-4.
An odd one on this section is the number ‘400’ worn by Kieron Pollard and Dwayne Bravo in IPL 2018. While Pollard was celebrating the fact that he was the first player to play 400 T20s, Bravo was hinting at his outrageous wicket tally at the time: 400 T20 wickets.
The quirkiest ones
Sarfaraz Khan, the Punjab Kings batsman, has 97 on his jersey because reading the Hindi version of the numbers (Nau and Saat) together resemble his father’s name, Naushad.
Morne Morkel is so proud of his height – six feet, five inches – that he has the jersey number 65 to indicate the same.