Is This A Sign Of The Cricket Apocalypse?
They told us it was coming, and here it is.
Yes, it's Aussie Test captain Tim Paine, complete with ** shudder ** HIS NAME AND NUMBER ON THE BACK OF HIS SHIRT!!!
So what's the big deal?
Well, you may recall international cricket's governing body, the ICC, announced earlier this year that Test players would soon be wearing names and numbers on the back of their playing whites.
This is basically what One Day and T20 players have done for years, but it's controversial because of the traditions and the general vibe of Test cricket.
Just look at the responses to Cricket Australia showing off the new look at this week's match between Sussex and Australia A (which is basically the reserve Test team, plus a few Test regulars who aren't playing the One Day World Cup).
It's a nope from this fan with a cricket ball avatar.
An emphatic nope.
A Jurassic nope.
And a nope phrased as a question, several times.
So why indeed?
As we told you in March, this is all part of the new ICC Test Championship, in which results from every Test series will count towards a points table, with a final to be played in England in 2021.
The ICC Test Championship starts with The Ashes on August 1. From that point on, Test cricket will lose its uncluttered look -- and with it, many fans argue, part of its soul.
Merchandise sales, on the other hand, will doubtless soar.