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England and Australia shirts to include names and numbers in this summer’s Ashes

The International Cricket Council confirmed the initiative as part of a much wider promotional plan around the World Test Championship.

England and Australia’s latest battle for the urn begins on August 1 (Jason O’Brien/PA)
England and Australia’s latest battle for the urn begins on August 1 (Jason O’Brien/PA)

This summer’s Ashes series will see players from England and Australia wearing shirts with their surname and a number on their back of their whites.

The International Cricket Council confirmed the initiative to Press Association Sport as part of a much wider promotional plan around the World Test Championship.

England and Australia’s latest battle for the urn begins on August 1 and will mark the beginning of the Test Championship, a nine-team competition set to run until 2021 which – it is hoped – could give added context to the longest format of the game.

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Names and numbers were introduced in the County Championship in 2003 (Nick Potts/PA)

Names and numbers on the back of shirts have been a distinction in the limited-overs formats for a number of years, while they were introduced in the County Championship in 2003.

But it will prove a watershed in Test cricket, in which matches have been played in plain cream or white shirts since the inaugural game between England and Australia in 1877.

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