How Retro Cricket Styles Could Be The Next Big Thing

Figure 1 International cricket is coming to the US

The unveiling of the new jersey of the New Zealand cricket team for the upcoming T20 World Cup may have passed you by. Although the sport is hugely popular in New Zealand and Australia, as well as in India, Pakistan, the Caribbean, and its birthplace England, cricket can be impenetrable for many.

The sport has been very niche, to say the least, in the US for the majority of its history and it would be quite rare to spot a replica jersey or any cricket apparel on the streets of most American cities. But things are changing.

A major international tournament is taking place partly in the US later this year and communities in cities all over the country are gearing up to get behind their favorite teams. There will be more coverage of the game in the news, a rise in the use of cricket betting apps, and the national team jerseys may even make an appearance on the streets thanks to some of their throwback, retro styles.

Color Choice

If you know anything about cricket you may be confused about the concept of a retro cricket jersey at all, as you might think that all the equipment is white. Where that is true for the traditional test match format of the game, the shorter and more exciting versions of the game have the players in colored uniforms.

Although this was initially criticized by the traditionalists of the sport, there is now quite a history of colored jerseys and national teams have more or less kept a particular color for their shirts and trousers. There has been a little more leeway than in sports such as soccer though – and the fans have been quite happy to see their players in national outfits.

New Zealand Retro

New Zealand has quite the history when it comes to colored uniforms for short form cricket. Although national teams in most sports tend to play in all black, thanks to the hugely successful NZ rugby team, the cricket team has played around with color since it was first introduced in the early 1980s.

You will regularly see New Zealand fans at cricket games sporting the beige and brown uniforms of those early days. Now those same fans will be able to move away from the black and silver jerseys of the last two decades and wear the new teal uniforms that honor the team of the 1990s. The new kit release has already gone down well with the fans and could carry on a fashion for retro sports uniforms.

Replica Sales

The main reason why sports teams unveil and launch new uniforms on such a regular basis is to make money, of course. Although this practice is not quite as prevalent in the US, soccer clubs around the world make huge amounts of money by making minor alterations to jerseys each season and producing alternate, third, and sometimes even fourth versions.

Cricket does not have the same kind of popularity when it comes to replica jersey sales. But there has been a move in recent years, especially among younger fans, to buying the short form cricket jerseys and wearing them at games. It is a way of showing your support and also embracing the latest fashion of the day if the design is done well.

Sports Fashion

The reason why the latest New Zealand replica jersey might do so well with the fans is that it has brought together a number of elements that are very popular right now. The main one is leaning heavily into the 1990s for inspiration. Sportswear from the decade became a big thing at the time of the lockdowns and it is still very popular.

The fashion from that decade is enjoying a resurgence across the board, but the sportswear of the 90s seems to be the most popular of all. Many soccer teams have new jerseys inspired by jerseys from 30 years ago and the originals are also selling again. Whoever is behind New Zealand cricket’s commercial marketing is obviously fully aware of current trends.

T20 World Cup Potential

Cricket may not have the financial muscle of soccer – even in some of the countries where the game is played – but there is another reason why some of the more fashionable retro jerseys might become popular. The sport needs exposure to become bigger and this year’s T20 World Cup might help with that.

Not only is T20 the shortest international format of the game and therefore a more dynamic and exciting version for new fans to enjoy. But the tournament is being jointly hosted by the West Indies and the US. The sport has been quietly growing in the States and a major tournament based at home could inspire a new generation of fans. If the jerseys are also considered fashionable, cricket could become even bigger.

Figure 2 Could cricket fashion be the next big thing?

Cricket Jerseys Can Stand Out

In a very busy sports fashion world, it takes something special for a jersey to stand out. Collectors and those in the know will not want the same old Lakers jersey or Yankees cap. That’s why soccer jerseys do so well in the US – partly the nod to 1990s fashion and partly the fact that they are different.

If soccer jerseys can be regarded as limited and different on the streets of the US, then just imagine what a well-designed cricket jersey can do. It may take a while for cricket to be recognized by most people in the US but fashionable sports apparel can help a lot – and the New Zealand retro offering could be the beginning of something new for American sports fans.

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