How Are Cricket Shirt Numbers Given and Can They be Changed?

Cricket is all about passion and enthusiasm. It is the most played game globally, and its rules and regulations are also known to the common man. 


 Every team consists of 11 active and some passive players. Every player wears a specific uniform that represents his country, like yellow for Australia and green for Pakistan. 


A cricket uniform consists of a cricket shirt, trousers, hat, accessories like gloves, and a knee pad. But the cricket shirt is the identity of a player as it contains the name of the player and a specific number at the backside. 


Cricket shirt numbers are a lifetime thing. A career of a cricketer may end, but its shirt number never changes. There are so many theories regarding cricket shirt numbers.

Let’s first discuss its history.

History of Cricket Shirt Numbers

  • Until 1998 there were no cricket shirt numbers and names, and in 1999 the cricket shirt numbers were allotted to the players. 

  • It was a specific rule to assign a number to cricketers as the captain had to wear the shirt with 1, and the rest of the team wore 2 to 15 number shirts.

  • But in the 1996 world cup, only Australia was the team who wore the printed shirt with name and number.

  • In test cricket, the shirt number was allocated in 2019 during the Ashes.

Cricket is a game of ideas, and there is a lot of superstition. Some players choose their shirt number according to numerology, and they call it their lucky number. 


There are so many examples where the player changed their shirt number for better luck as Sachin Tendulkar’s shirt number was 99 before, and then he changed it into 10. According to experts, Sachin changed his shirt number due to some astrological reason, but then Sachin cleared that 10 is the part of his name 10dulikar.



Cricket shirt numbers are a synonym of the cricketer’s name, as 10 numbers are for Sachin and Shahid Afridi (Mr. Boom Boom). So there is no basic science behind the cricket shirt numbers; it’s just a matter of choice. 


As it also represents the player so, in a team, a number is allowed to only one player till he is in the career. It is like a class roll. A number of one student cannot be given to another in the same class.



According to cricket analysts, it helps to re-recognize the player because it is difficult to distinguish between the players due to the helmet. It also helps distinguish between players and officials as officials also wear the same shirt but without a number. So the number also indicates your ground presence.

Here are some players that are more famous due to their number than a name.

  • Sachin Tendulkar 10
  • Shahid Afridi 10
  • M S Dhoni 7
  • Virat Kohli 18
  • Chris Gayle 333
  • Virender Sehwag 00
  • Shoaib Akhter 14
  • Lasith Malinga 99
  • Ben Stokes 55
  • Steve Smith 49
  • Shakib al Hassan 75

Cricket shirt numbers are a vital part of the game as cricket is the game of numbers, a number of balls, score number, and player number. So numbers are the way to interact with the audience and fans.

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