The Roar
The Roar


The iconic blue VB and adidas cap? I think not!

20th May, 2008
2849 Reads

Australia’s pacer Mitchell Johnson, center, is congratulated by teammates after taking the wicket of Jamaica Select XI’s batsman Nikita Miller, unseen, during the first day of a cricket tour match in Trelawny, northern Jamaica, Friday, May 16, 2008. AP Photo/Andres Leighton

It was a disgraceful breach of tradition and an insult to the iconic baggy green cap for the Australian side in the West Indies to take the field in the opening first-class match of the tour wearing a blue cap with logos for VB on the front and adidas on the back.

Perhaps even more disgraceful than this assault on one of Australian cricket’s greatest traditions was the explanation given by the team management for the obvious marketing ploy.

The management claimed that the blue VB/adidas cap was worn because one member of the Australian side, Brad Haddin, was not entitled to wear the baggy green as he is yet to play a Test. So out of consideration for Haddin, the false cap was worn.

Haddin, though, could have worn the white floppy hat made famous by Greg Chappell, which he did the next day after the incident flared into a huge controversy. Former Australian players like Greg Matthews, rightly, accused Cricket Australia of ‘selling out the baggy green cap.’

Neil Harvey, always one to bag contemporary cricket behaviour (and often correctly so), made the point that “if they can’t wear the Australian cap when playing for Australia, they shouldn’t wear anything.”

He obviously meant no cap, for the sight of the Australian cricketers cavorting about without clothes on would create a greater controversy (except for the the Cosmo-reading young girls, one supposes) than any argument over the baggy green cap.

Greg Matthews made the point, as well, that if he’d been asked to wear the VB/adidas cap he’d have told the management to “piss off.” Given this, it would have been interesting to see what Michael Clarke’s reaction would have been.


The Baggy Green Cap, written by Michael Fahey (a collector of sporting artifacts) and Mike Coward (with Gideon Haigh and Peter Roebuck, the best cricket writer in Australia) and being published in September, gives a history of how the Australian cricket cap has “become a national icon – a symbol of Australian sporting excellence and a highly sought after item of memorabilia.”

Michael Clarke is quoted on the dust jacket: “I have the ultimate respect for the cap and if I have any input into the next generation, I will see that the tradition continues.”

It’s a pity he wasn’t in the West Indies to give some sound advice to Ricky Ponting.