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England bring back the traditional knit cream sweater to cricket

Joe Root was present at the kit launch and spoke about the new design.

Joe Root with others at the kit launch

What’s the story?

Earlier yesterday, England unveiled their new kits for Tests, one-days and Twenty20s, designed by new supplier New Balance. With the new kits, New Balance has brought back the traditional knit cream sweater worn by the predecessors of the current team through the generations.

As reported by The Telegraph, Joe Root said, "It’s as traditional as it gets, isn’t it, it’s what Test cricket is about.

“The guys in 2005 who won the Ashes wore the old cable knit jumper and there are some great iconic moments in English cricket that are associated with clothes like this so hopefully there will be much more in the future.

“It feels like I’m a kid again, playing my first couple of games. It’s like my first woollen jumper my grandma knitted me so it takes it all back to the beginning and it’s a nice way to remind yourself that even though there are times when we’re under a lot of pressure it’s a game we enjoy playing. We have to embrace the occasion, go out and enjoy it.”

In case you didn’t know…

Last year, New Balance, an American sportswear firm, signed a five-year deal with the England Cricket Board worth around £2m annually. Adidas, who had been the kit sponsor for England’s cricket team, reduced its valuation of the cricket deal after they signed a £10m contract with football giants Manchester United.

Following this, ECB did not renew the contract with Adidas and signed a new deal.

The heart of the matter

At England’s last kit launch, back in 2008, Adidas had dropped the knit sweater in favour of a brilliant-white sweater. This had upset many of the game’s traditionalists who preferred the knit sweater.

With New Balance bringing back the traditional kit, England have returned to cricket’s roots. At the launch, the new kit was modelled by none other than Joe Root, England cricket’s poster boy at the moment.

In 50-over cricket, England will wear a blue kit while in Twenty20 internationals they will wear a red and blue hooped shirt.

What’s next?

England start their international summer with two-match ODI series against Ireland on Friday. It is then that the kits will be on display for the first time. And in one month’s time, is the big event, the ICC Champions Trophy, which the country will host.

Also Read: ICC Champions Trophy 2017 Schedule: Full time table with venue ground details, PDF download

Author’s take

It is ironical that England, who have promised to play a modern, positive brand of cricket in Test matches, will be wearing kits designed like those of the age-old days. However, the new kit does provide the perfect throwback. It has been a while since we saw the woollen sweaters in cricket.

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