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Take A Trip With Us Down Memory Lane

best world cup kits

23 May 2019, by: Mike Strachan


Pyjama Cricket – A term made famous by the 1977 Baseball World Series. Surprisingly the first Cricket World Cup for teams to don pyjamas was only in 1992 and with it came the white ball that would change the game forever.

Kits are remembered for 2 reasons. The first is that they are so horrible that in a decade they become iconic. The second is that the team was so successful playing in them, that it brings back rich memories for supporters.

The below covers the most memorable kits in World Cup History.

The Size You Couldn’t Buy

This kit had a range of sizes never seen in the professional arena. That applies specially the XXXL to fit Dwayne Leverock. One of the memorable moments of the 2007 World Cup is the big man leaping one handed to his right to dismiss Robin Uthappa. The brilliance of the catch was matched by the celebration.

The eloquent David Lloyd likening Leverock to that of a gazelle as the whole Bermuda side took part in the celebration, as if they had just won the World Cup. The island is now known for more than just those awkwardly long short. Cricket is indeed poorer without these minnows.

The First Shade Of Grey

The colour black – worn proudly by New Zealand sports teams such as the All Blacks and the Black Caps. It is said that the colour also has spiritual significance to the Maori people. This makes it even more puzzling that in 1992 the Kiwis wore grey and before that they wore beige. Every Black cap fan who owns one of these kits seems to have a certain stereotype about them. They are either someone who celebrates Movember all year round, someone who has a mullet that would make Joe Dirt look clean, or someone who could put a tray of Speight’s away – New Zealand’s finest beer. These people love life, they love their cricket and we love them for it.

Beckham. Bentley. Botham?

David Beckham, Bentley, Paul Smith, Elizabeth Hurley and the 1992 Cricket World Cup kit. It’s difficult to give the Poms credit but they can be stylish when they want to. It was Gooch and Botham who strutted the pale blue in 1992 and you can’t help but think that Bairstow, Stokes and Morgan wouldn’t be able to pull it off today.

Since 1992 it is now India who don the baby blues with, and England have adopted a more royal shade, akin to the Union Jack. The ‘92 kit has become iconic not because of the team’s performances but rather because the kit was so different. This year, fortunes could be different for the Poms. They’ve switched back to the baby blue and are playing in home conditions suited to their strong batting lineup. They are my personal favourites to win the tournament.

The Golden Age Of Cricket Kits

The ’99 World Cup was one of the most memorable in terms of drama, but the kits were also exceptional. It was the first tournament where teams didn’t have the same design. Each team had a defining emblem on the front of their shirts. My favourites were Zimbabwe, Pakistan, Kenya, Scotland, Australia and South Africa. Interestingly, no one knows for sure what bird is on the Zimbo kit is. Based on a stone carving, the exact species is unconfirmed. Despite this, like a bird of prey they took down big scalps like South Africa and made it into the Super Sixes.

Pakistan had the best kit out of the lot, the two greens complimenting each other perfectly. Their iconic star on the chest, and inside the star was ‘Pakistan’ written in Urdu. Brilliant!.

Kenya’s kit had a red, white and black Maasai shield with two white spears behind it. What’s not to like? Scotland’s kit had a slightly off-centre St Andrew’s Cross, an outfit that William Wallace would no doubt be proud of.

The Aussies had the Southern Cross on theirs, a constellation that many ships would use for navigation. Like the Southern Cross, the Australians level of play play was one that other teams followed. South Africa had a simple gold ‘Y’ taken from the national flag. I loved this kit so much that I would cry when my mom forced me to wash it after wearing it for a week. Unfortunately at the end of the tournament I was crying, albeit for very different but well-documented reasons.

The Last To Really Impress

Since the exceptional turnout in 1999, there hasn’t been many kits to have stood out. Sri Lanka 2015 was that exception.

The kit had their traditional blue with a little bit of yellow on the collar. The blue resembled the ocean with triangular shades spattered around. South Africans have fond memories of this kit, as they knocked out Sri Lanka thanks to a JP Duminy hat-trick; a feat as rare as a good looking kit. Sri Lanka’s 2019 kit also follows an ocean theme and is made out of recycled ocean plastic. How cool is that?

This List Already Ended

The Protea kit is not New Balance’s best work, so much so Crictracker ranked it the worst kit along with Australia’s for this year’s World Cup.

Lots has been said about the lime green. I don’t mind it to be honest; it’s closer to the colour that was used in the 92 World Cup than any other. Where the letdown comes in is the camo sleeves, which neither fit nor match the longs. Maybe cricket and fashion aren’t meant to be together?

This kit could go from forgettable to memorable if the boys make us proud, and I’m quietly confident they can do it.

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