England look to buck cricket luck with red

  • Rohit Bhaskar, Hindustan Times, Birmingham
  • Updated: Jun 23, 2013 10:47 IST

A study in a popular science journal concurred that teams wearing a red kit have the best odds of victory. Will it work for an England team that has lost all four ICC finals it has competed in?

Most images of the 1966 FIFA World Cup final are black-and-white, but beneath that colour barrier Bobby Moore and his victorious Englishmen were wearing red jerseys for that Wembley final. Manchester United and Liverpool are the two most successful football clubs in the island.

One is called the Red Devils, the other is known as the Reds. Oh, and their jerseys are also red. The most beloved sporting team in the island, the British Lions rugby team also has a red kit.

This is the first season England’s cricket team has adopted a kit in that colour. There was a smattering of red in previous England jersey but a variant of blue was always the holding colour. This time it’s all red. Oddly the caps are still the same old blue ones.

The new colour didn’t bring immediate success, with England losing the home series against New Zealand before the Champions Trophy. All that, however, will be forgotten if England end their ICC ODI duck on Sunday.

In the 1979 World Cup final Viv Richars pulverised them with a brilliant century. In the 1987 World Cup final, Mike Gatting’s ill-advised reverse-sweep saw England slide from a winning position to a narrow loss against Australia.

In the 1992 World Cup final, two balls from Wasim Akram towards the end of their chase changed the tide and dashed English hopes again. In the 2004 Champions Trophy final, the West Indies’ 71-run ninth-wicket partnership denied the Englishmen.

Alaistair Cook was reminded of the same stat, albeit structured differently, by four reporters during the pre-match presser.

“Yeah, it is. We haven't won a global 50-over tournament, as everyone keeps reminding me every time I sit in one of these press conferences. So there’s the quarter-final, the semi-final and now the final, so yes, I know that pretty well, and we're desperately keen to try and change that so you guys can talk about something else and I can give you different answers to the same question pretty much over and over again,” he said.

Indeed, he may be dressed in red but Cook is not one for red herrings!

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