Slipping on your mate’s shirt while going out to bat might seem the most ordinary thing to a cricketer, but even that is fraught with risk these days.
While fielding against Kolkata Knight Riders at Eden Gardens on Wednesday (May 3), the Rising Pune Supergiant allrounder wore his usual No. 54 jersey, with ‘Christian’ emblazoned across the back.
When he walked out to bat later, with Pune 139 for 5 in reply to Kolkata’s 155 for 8, he had ‘55’ and ‘Stokes’ on his back. Christian hit Colin de Grandhomme for a six in the final over of the chase to take Pune past the line, but social media soon got to business pointing out the jersey swap immediately.
The Indian Premier League rules regarding clothing and equipment say that “a player’s name and number must correctly reflect the identity of the player”, which means Christian’s mistake might just prove to be a costly one.
How costly, one doesn’t know yet, but the Australian hinted on social media that he had invited “the ire of the match referee”, Javagal Srinath.
“Put my shirt out to dry with @stokesy after the bowling innings, and grabbed the wrong one before I went out to bat, much to the ire of the match referee,” wrote Christian on Instagram later, and tweeted out the same as well.
Great win tonight, Tripathi brilliant!! Re the shirt mix up, both mine and Stokesy's shirts were drying out and I grabbed the wrong one!
— Daniel Christian (@danchristian54) May 3, 2017
On the subject of the Pune franchise and jersey slip-ups, Usman Khawaja was handed a bunch when he reached India for IPL 2016, only to find ‘Khwaja’ written in the back, something he joked about on Twitter.