Mumbai: The legendary Sachin Tendulkar’s number 10 jersey is all set to be, “unofficially” retired by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for international matches. Hence, the jersey number which Sachin wore throughout his ODI career and one T20I would now remain linked only with him.
In November 2013, Sachin had called it quits on his 24-year long career and ever since then, the number 10 jersey hasn’t been worn by any one. Sachin had last worn the jersey against Pakistan in March 2010.
After a period of more than four years, Mumbai paceman Shardul Thakur had decided to wear the number 10 jersey during an ODI against Sri Lanka at home. This was met with a flood of trolls on the internet with people mocking him for “trying to be a Sachin.”
Even India’s limited overs’ opener Rohit Sharma took a dig at Thakur on Twitter as he posted a photo of the bowler with the caption, “Hey bro what’s your jersey number?”
A BCCI official said, “It unnecessarily creates controversy and players get criticised.”
“So it’s better to retire the number unofficially. Players, though, can wear it when they play for India A or for say a non-international list A match but not during an international,” he also added.
According to sources, the BCCI has found support from many top players who agree with the fact that the number 10 jersey should be retired.
Thakur later in an interview had revealed that the reason for him using the number 10 jersey was numerology. He said that the digits of his birth (16.10.1991) sum up to 28 and 2+8 equals 10. The Mumbai pacer however didn’t use the number 10 jersey when he was a part of the Indian squad for the series against New In October earlier this year. He wore jersey number 54 during the warm-up games against the same opposition.
However, this isn’t the first time that a team has opted to retire a jersey number. Many football clubs have done it in the past with Inter Milan retiring the number 4 jersey after Argentinian defender Javier Zanetti retired in 2014. English club West Ham United retired the number 6 jersey when Bobby Moore retired. AC Milan too had retired jersey number 3 which was worn by Italian central defender Paolo Maldini.
The same practice was seen in the NBA too with LA Lakers retiring jersey numbers 24 and 33 belonging to Kobe Bryant and Kareem Abdul Jabbar respectively. Michael Jordan’s number 23 jersey was also retired by the Chicago Bulls after he retired.
International football however doesn’t believe in all this as the Argentinian Football Association (AFA) had decided to retire the number 10 jersey as a tribute to the great Diego Maradona and didn’t even mention that number while preparing the 23-men squad list for the 2002 FIFA World Cup.
Their reserve keeper Roberto Bonano was given jersey number 24 but FIFA didn’t agree to it. Eventually, striker Ariel Ortega, who wore number 23 wore the number 10 jersey, which today is worn by the modern-day great Lionel Messi.