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Team India goes back to ’92 World Cup kit as new sponsors play it safe

When India play Australia in the first One-Day International in Sydney on Friday, old-timers from the team of 1992 will cherish seeing the dark-blue kit back on the field.

Written by Devendra Pandey | Updated: November 27, 2020 11:57:58 am
1992 team india jerseyTeam India captained by Azharuddin before a photoshoot in 1992.(Courtesy: Kiran More/Twitter)

The Indian cricket team will go retro for the limited-overs series in Australia by donning the iconic dark-blue team kit from the 1992 World Cup, hosted jointly by Australia and New Zealand. The jersey with broad-coloured stripes across the shoulder has great recall value as it marked the introduction of coloured clothing, white balls and floodlights at a 50-over World Cup. The Indian team had to do away with the lighter-blue jersey, various versions of which have been worn for nearly two decades, because a new kit sponsor has signed a three-year deal.

When India play Australia in the first One-Day International in Sydney on Friday, old-timers from the team of 1992 will cherish seeing the dark-blue kit back on the field. Former India wicketkeeper Kiran More, a member of the ’92 World Cup team, has preserved the jersey, which stands out because of its clean look in the absence of multiple sponsor logos and ‘India’ written across it in yellow.

More was pleasantly surprised and turned nostalgic when he heard the current generation of players, captained by Virat Kohli, opted for this kit when the BCCI consulted them before they left for the tour.

“I come across many people who agree that this was the best jersey of the Indian team. The colour is amazing and it is still fresh in people’s minds. It was the first time we played a World Cup in coloured clothing and with the white ball. Ask any cricketer from my generation and they will say the 1992 World Cup jersey is the best. We had played in coloured clothing earlier but not at a World Cup,” More told The Indian Express.

The Indian team will wear the retro kit for the three One-Day Internationals and three T20 Internationals before switching to whites for the Test series.

Opening batsman Shikhar Dhawan tweeted a picture of him in the jersey with the caption: “New jersey, renewed motivation, Read to Go.”

Last week, MPL Sports, the merchandise brand of online gaming company Mobile Premier League, bagged the rights for three years after Nike decided to end its long-term association in September. A top BCCI official confirmed the new kit sponsor could not copy the ‘design’ used by Nike.

To avoid copyright violations, the BCCI and MPL offered the players different options. The players opted for the 1992 kit, which reached them in Australia on Tuesday.

“As MPL is a new sponsor, they cannot use a design similar to what the previous sponsor had. The MPL had sent us a few designs for the one-day kit, including the design from 1992. We asked the cricketers to give their opinion. They chose the one which was worn by our players during the 1992 World Cup,” BCCI treasurer Arun Dhumal said.

The tryst with the 1992 kit for the current players won’t be long term as the new sponsors will eventually come up with their own design, the BCCI official said. “As a new sponsor (MPL Sports), they will eventually have to come with a design of their own. They will have to use their own technology (for creating fabric),” Dhumal added.

The Indian team finished seventh in the round-robin stage winning just two games. More is remembered for riling up Pakistan’s Javed Miandad with his appeals from behind the wicket, which saw the batsman jump up and down to mock him.

The below-par finish of the team does not take away any emotion attached to the jersey for More. “Other than the jersey, I even have the sweater,” More said. “It is very precious to me.”

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