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Thursday, June 18, 2015

England's new jumper ~ draws criticism across !!

For long – connoisseurs had the pleasure of seeing Pongal Tests at Chepauk – pitch for sure would assist spinners and surer still were the results. The famous Indian spinners would be virtually unplayable in the 4th innings.  Cricket fans would throng the stadium in the morning hours before the start, select choicest places, another group with coffee and food would join – and as one could sight the cap of the Umpires walking out, the stadium would burst to activity.  January would be ideal weather – the Chennai cold would be nothing for the visitors – though those days one could see some ‘mufflers  and sweaters ‘in the morning.

Sweater is not part of South Indian attire, the  knitted garment either a pullover or a cardigan, would protect people from cold.  In Delhi and in Northern part of India, it would be common but not over here.  Have seen visiting Cricketers and Indians on tour abroad wearing sweaters. 

For long, players used to wear strictly - Cricket whites, also known as flannels.  Some had impeccable ones.  Much has changed as we see multi-coloured clothing, coloured balls and more, especially when it is an ODI or a T20, not to speak of IPL, where you see multitude of sponsors on every equipment.  Flannels were originally made from a variety of flannel materials. Earlier ones were typically cotton, though later there were synthetic ones with a high elastic content, to be flexible while fielding, read diving.  Shirts and sweaters could be short or long-sleeved. 

In Mar 2014, in biting cold, when everyone was wearing  a sweater, Ashwinbowled in half-sleeves …….and there were some reports that his wearing full-armed shirt in an earlier match was an attempt to cover his elbow flexing does not have much punch…..  Ash has been a clean bowler and has nothing to hide as far as his action is concerned.

In 1977, the advent of Kerry Packer changed the way the game was played – some critics called it ‘pyjama cricket’ – recently, there have been attempts to have the change in colour of ball too – red cherry to white to pink balls.  Now comes the news that the new England cricket jumper [sweater]  draws fire from traditionalists
The new sweater seen during the first test against New Zealand in the Ongoing Series,  has been described as "an abomination", "a disgrace" and something that looks like it was knitted by a drunk grandmother.  For five days it has caused nearly as much debate among cricket traditionalists as the play on the pitch at Lords’.

England’s new cricket sweater which made its debut in the first test against New Zealand has been attacked as “atrocious”, like something from Star Trek, and even “an abomination”.  One tweeted - whoever designed that ghastly new England cricket jumper needs to change his or her job today & never work in clothes design again! #ECB.  Michael Vaughan, the former England skipper, was blunt: “I don’t like ‘em”. Jonathan Agnew, of the BBC’s Test Match special, said: “I don’t’ think I have ever seen a cricket jumper quite like it.”

The new jumper which has traditionalists up in arms, has cable knit up to the chest and then plain knit upwards, and is white except for a red trim along the bottom. It is “dumbing down heritage” said the cricket and fashion writer Katie Walker.She accused the designers of “messing around” with a classic design for the sake of it.

Another was bitterly sarcastic in stating that it appeared as though designed by one armed blindman, stating that the fantastic classic piece of clothing should not be messed up.   Another was more forthright in saying the newer one’s smooth top section seems to be made to enhance the visibility of the sponsor’s logo.”Bob Willis, the former England bowler, told Sky Sports the new jumper was a “disgrace”.

People seemingly do not approve of the new design, but over a period of time, opinions would fade away … !

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

18th June 2015.

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