Australian international cap numbers are some of the most important digits in a cricketer’s life.
Players are indelibly linked to their number – some by tattoos, others through their continued use in day-to-day life such as in social media handles.
And in some rare cases the same number might end up tied to two players.
Watch, Stream & Catch Up with Australia’s Home of Cricket on 7plus >>
Michael Slater, Mark Waugh and Ricky Ponting famously went together to tattoos of their Test digits – but a misunderstanding led Slater to have Brendan Julian’s No.356 tattooed on him, instead of his true No.357.
The pair debuted in the same match and Slater, being higher in the line-up as an opening batter, had been told he was No.356. In reality, cap numbers are distributed in alphabetical order of surnames.
England villain reignites Ashes feud with new shock claim
Cricket Australia officials made the decision to redeploy the two numbers to allow Slater to keep his tattoo in tact.
But the governing body and its apparel partners are struggling to fix a long-running cap number issue involving allrounder Mitch Marsh at the Cricket World Cup this month.
Eagle-eyed viewers have spotted the 32-year-old wearing No.165 on his hat in India – despite being Australia’s 190th ODI men’s cricketer.
Mitch Marsh wearing a cap with the No.165 that belongs to his brother Shaun. Credit: Robert Cianflone/Getty Images
The No.165 actually belongs to his older brother Shaun, with officials seemingly – and continuously – caught out by the presence of two Marshes in their database.
“I’ve asked a couple of times to get my number on my cap and they keep sending me Shaun’s number,” Mitch Marsh said on Tuesday.
“Everyone here calls me Shaun anyway, so it works out well.”
Just how it keeps happening is unclear.
Mitch has at times worn M.Marsh on the back of his jersey, with Shaun wearing S.Marsh, but with Shaun now retired Mitch is just ‘Marsh’.
The brothers are second-generation cricketers, the son of former Australian Test and ODI star Geoff.
Geoff received the honour of presenting both Shaun and Mitch with their Test caps – No.422 and No.438 respectively, for the record – when they made their debuts for Australia three years apart.
Shaun Marsh received his Test cap from dad Geoff. Credit: Ryan Pierse/Getty ImagesShaun and Mitch followed in Geoff’s footsteps to become Australian Test cricketers, and played together on multiple occasions. Credit: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images
Marsh might just want to stick with No.165 for the rest of the World Cup if he is among the many cricketers who believe in superstitions.
He started off the World Cup slowly with scores of zero and seven in defeats but has since plundered 52 and 121 in victories.
The West Australian will, however, be demoted from the top of the order if and when Travis Head returns to the side following his recovery from a fractured hand.
That could happen as soon as Wednesday against the Netherlands, or on Saturday in a high-powered clash with New Zealand.
Unprofessional undertone exposed in ‘ridiculous’ WBBL howler
Australian cricketer’s four-month-old son dies: ‘Till we meet again’
If you’d like to view this content, please adjust your Cookie Settings.