Names and numbers on Test jerseys are rubbish: Adam Gilchrist
The first Ashes Test is underway at Edgbaston (AFP Photo)

England and Australian cricketers have been sporting Test whites in the ongoing first Ashes Test with their names and squad numbers emblazoned on the jerseys.

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It’s a remarkable departure from the age-old practice of not featuring names/numbers on Test whites. The idea behind this change is to help fans in the stadiums to easily identify the players.

However, it has divided opinions with former Australia international Adam Gilchrist calling it ‘rubbish’.

“Outstanding. We are underway. Sorry to sound old fashioned but not liking the names and numbers. #Ashes #cmonaussies,” Gilchrist posted on his twitter handle on Thursday.

Later on, in another tweet, he added, “In fact, I’ll take my apology back. The names and numbers are rubbish. Enjoy the series everyone. 👍😀 #Ashes”

The idea of introducing names and numbers is among a series of changes the International Cricket Council (ICC) has made it its efforts to further the popularity of Test cricket.

The inaugural ICC World Test Championship has also gotten underway with the Ashes 2019, providing a context to the longest form of cricket’s oldest format. The championship will see nine teams participating during a two-year cycle with the winner being crowned as the world Test champion.

The limited-overs formats (ODIs and T20Is) already have their own world championships and former Australia captain Steve Waugh has said that it was long overdue that Test cricket should have its own such competition.

“People from the outside have been looking at Test cricket and struggling to understand the context of what is going on. Are these just random matches played between different countries, what is the point of it? Is there an end point? Well, finally now we have one. This will make it so much easier to understand and hopefully help us attract new fans to the long form of the game,” he wrote in a column for the ICC.