Jersey no. 10 is usually worn by the most important player of the team. In football, number 10 has been donned by some greats like Pele, Diego Maradona and Lionel Messi. Cricket, however, represents nothing of the sort as players get to choose any number of their choice.
Unlike football where jersey numbers represent an individual’s playing position or the importance of a player to the team, jersey no. 10 in cricket was popularised by Indian cricket team great, Sachin Tendulkar. Tendulkar initially donned number 99 before switching to number 33 and eventually settled for the number 10, which he also wore for Team Mumbai in the Indian T20 League.
Such has been Tendulkar’s legacy that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) was forced to retire the number - albeit unofficially - in Indian cricket as a tribute to the batting maestro. After Tendulkar’s retirement, bowler Shardul Thakur decided to take up the number only to face a massive backlash from the fans, resulting in the unofficial retirement of the number.
Tendulkar, however, is not the only cricketing great to have worn jersey no 10 and here we look at some other influential players from past and present to wear the jersey.
Shahid Afridi (Pakistan)
Unlike Sachin Tendulkar, Former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi wore the number 10 shirt from his debut in 1996 to retiring from all forms of international cricket in 2017. However, the jersey hasn’t been retired after his retirement. The jersey no 10 in Pakistan cricket is currently being worn by pace sensation Shaheen Shah Afridi.
David Miller (South Africa)
South Africa’s middle-order batter David Miller currently wears the number 10 for his team at present. Miller has played 136 ODIs and 95 T20Is and has donned jersey no 10 in all of those matches. The explosive left-hander also chose jersey no 10 during both his stints with Indian T20 League teams.
Allan Donald (South Africa)
Before Miller, legendary pacer Allan Donald, nicknamed 'White Lightning', used to wear jersey no 10 for the Proteas. In a career that spanned over 12 years, Allan Donald took 330 wickets in Tests and 272 scalps in ODIs. He is fourth in South Africa’s all-time Test wicket-takers list.
Peter Siddle (Australia)
For Australia, fast bowler Peter Siddle was the last player to wear the no 10 shirt. Siddle, whose career was marred with injuries, played 67 Tests and 20 ODIs for the Aussies, picking 221 and 17 wickets in the respective formats. He wore no 10 from 2008 to 2019 before his retirement from international cricket.
Featured photo: AFP / Manan Vatsyayana