The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has decided to “unofficially” retire the No. 10 jersey, which was worn by Tendulkar throughout his career in ODIs and in a lone T20, for international matches. Tendulkar, who retired in November 2013 bringing a 24-year-long career to an end, had last worn No. 10 in March 2012 when he played his last ODI against Pakistan. Since then, No. 10 was unused for nearly five years before Mumbai fast bowler Shardul Thakur decided to don it for his ODI debut against Sri Lanka in Colombo last August. However, Thakur faced outrage from the fans when they saw fast bowler donning the jersey. Teammate Rohit Sharma also trolled Thakur on Twitter for wearing the No. 10 jersey. “It unnecessarily creates controversy and players get criticised. So it’s better to retire the number unofficially. Players, though, can wear it when they play for India A or for say a non-international list A match but not during an international,” a BCCI official told Indian Express.
After all the trolls and outrage on social media, Shardul gave up the number and opted for 54 when he joined the Indian ODI side for the New Zealand series last month. Shardul claimed that numerology is the only reason why he chose number 10. He said the digits of his date of birth (16.10.1991) add up to 28 and 2+8 equals 10. It is also understood that BCCI reached out to top players from the Indian team for their views on this and they all agreed on the number 10 to be retired.
This is not a lone incident where a team has retired a jersey number. Many such parallels can be drawn from the history as well. In Football, Inter Milan and AC Milan have retired number 4 and 3 respectively as a tribute to their legends Javier Zanetti and Paolo Maldini. Even Sachin’s IPL side Mumbai Indians retired his jersey number after he called it a day in from all forms of cricket in 2013.