Football teams have made it a habit to pay tribute to their legends by retiring the jerseys they’ve worn. Similar cries for retiring India’s cricketing master Sachin Tendulkar’s Number 10 shirt have finally been heard by the Board of Control for Cricket (BCCI) in India. But only informally.
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“It’s a very individual choice. If players don’t want to wear a certain number, one can’t force them. ICC might just tell you that a team can’t officially retire a jersey but it would never tell you that it’s mandatory to wear that number,” a BCCI official told PTI.
“The BCCI has not taken any such call (retiring the No.10 jersey). It’s a very informal thing among players. Also you don’t want young players to be abused like it happened with Shardul Thakur.”
Thakur has been the only one to don that famous jersey since Tendulkar retired in 2013, but he was trolled on the internet and the BCCI wants to avoid other cricketers facing such abuse.
No other country in the world has taken the initiative to retire the jersey in honour of a player quitting international cricket; from Sir Viv Richards to Virendra Sehwag.
Tendulkar’s IPL team, the Mumbai Indians, had, however, retired the No.10 shirt in his honour.
Retired numbers often have been a part of footballing cultures. Italian club Napoli honoured Argentinian footballer Diego Maradona with one such gesture, Schalke 04 for Spanish sensation Raul and New York Cosmos presented Pele with their number 10 shirt as well.
Even Indian footballing club Bethlehem Vengthlang had posthumously retired the number 21 for their midfielder Peter Biaksangzuala who died while celebrating a goal.
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