The Indian Cricket Team Jersey: History and Evolution

Cricket in India is much more than a sport. It is a religion that people practice every day and the love for it is deeply rooted in our tradition. From the moment a child first picks up a bat, a magical journey begins, a journey fuelled by the mission of representing their motherland on the biggest stage, donning the sacred Indian blue cricket jersey. The Indian Cricket Team Jersey is more than just a uniform and goes beyond fabric and colours. It is a true embodiment of the pride, legacy, and passion of a nation for the sport. From the classic whites of the 1983 World Cup win to today's dynamic blue, every Indian Cricket Team Jersey reflects our cricketing story.

The Indian Cricket Team standing together for the National Anthem before the game

Credit: Hindustan Times

So, in this chapter by ZAP, let's look at the history of the Indian Cricket Team Jersey, the evolution, the sponsors and the best jerseys ever.

Bleeding Blue – A Colour Beyond Choice:

You may have at least once wondered why India’s Cricket jersey is blue. Well, it’s not just the cricket jerseys that are blue, but all of the sports jerseys for Indian players are blue in colour. Indian sports jerseys were to be chosen from among the colours saffron, green, white and blue that make up the Indian National Flag, except white. Saffron represents bravery and selflessness, white represents peace and truthfulness and green represents faith, fertility, and prosperity. The colour blue in the Ashok chakra represents the sky and the ocean, a mark of vastness. Given that green is mostly connected with Islam and saffron is associated with Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, and some political parties, choosing saffron or green for the jerseys would have been perceived as showing political or religious bias. Therefore, choosing any shade between these two would have been difficult and would have damaged India's reputation as a secular country. So, it seemed sensible to choose the colour blue, the colour of the Ashoka Chakra, for India's shirt. Blue symbolizes the sky and the ocean, representing the vastness of sporting achievements, the effort needed to succeed, and the room for improvement to reach new heights. That’s the reason the phrase Bleed Blue is very closely associated with the Indian Cricket Team, meaning giving it your everything on the cricket pitch. 

History and Evolution of the Indian Cricket Team’s Jersey:

The Evolution of the Indian Cricket Team jersey

Credit: Pinterest

Since 1975, India has participated in each and every men's World Cup. It was a standard in the first four editions of the World Cup for players to wear white clothing. The first World Cup in which teams wore coloured jerseys was in 1992. We debuted at the World Cup with a dark blue shade jersey, but over time, they switched it to a lighter shade. Let’s look at all of the Indian Cricket Team’s jerseys in the ODI World Cups since 1992. 

Also Read: History of Cricket

India’s Jersey in the 1992 Cricket World Cup:

The Indian players in 1992 Indian cricket Team jersey

Credit: Medium

All competing teams at the 1992 World Cup used jerseys with similar themes and identical patterns but different colours. India wore a dark blue shirt with white, red, green and light blue coloured horizontal stripes and yellow player names.

The 1993, 1994 ICT Jerseys:

Sachin Tendulkar in the 1992 Indian Cricket Team jersey celebrating a knock

Credit: Crictracker

India wore a yellow shirt with the team's name printed on a blue band across the front in 1993. In contrast, the track pants had a light blue hue. The Indian Team wore a blue and yellow jersey combination in 1994, with the yellow colour becoming increasingly noticeable. It had the player's name in yellow and the word "India" printed in blue.

1996 Indian Team World Cup Jersey:

The Indian players in the 1996 Indian Cricket Team jersey

Credit: The Quint

All teams once again wore the jerseys with a consistent pattern for all. In 1996, India changed their jersey colour from dark to light blue, with the teams wearing identical designs once more. A wide yellow chest stripe featured the word "India" inscribed in a light blue colour that matched the rest of the jersey, with multicoloured arrows running across the chest and down the sleeves. 

The 1997 and 1998 Indian Jersey:

A dark blue BCCI logo sat on the slight left of the jersey in 1997 when India played Pakistan in the Independence Cup. In 1998, India's jersey was modified once more. It was mostly yellow and blue for a while before turning completely blue with a tricolour encircling the shoulders.

The 1999 Indian Cricket Team World Cup Jersey:

The Indian Cricket Team players in the 1992 Indian Team jersey


In the 1999 edition, all teams wore shirts with their cricket boards’ logos composed across the front. India's light blue outfit featured a yellow BCCI crest emblazoned diagonally across the front of the jersey. The 1999 shirt was one of the most iconic and best Indian jerseys ever made.

The 2001 World Cup Indian Cricket Jersey:

The Indian Players in the 2001 Indian Team jersey

Credit: CricTracker

In 2001, the BCCI emblem shifted from the left to the right side of the jersey. The name 'India' was set in the middle of three yellow bands that ran the length of the shirt. Sponsor Sahara was shown above India and on the left sleeve with a white background and black shade.

The 2003 Indian Cricket Team Jersey:

Sachin Tendulkar batting in the 2003 Indian Cricket Team jersey

Credit: Pinterest

The 2003 jersey will always be remembered for the legendary performance that the God of Cricket, Sachin Tendulkar had in the tournament. It was in 2003, the first time ever since their victory in 1983 that India advanced to the World Cup final. India went back to their signature light blue colours and had a hint of black on the shoulders and sides. The centre featured the Indian tricolour with the name written on top.  

2007 ODI and T20 Indian Cricket Team World Cup Jersey:

Zaheer Khan celebrates a wicket in the 2007 Indian Cricket Team jersey

Credit: Business Insider India

2007 was one of the Indian team’s most polarizing years. A defeat against Bangladesh and elimination in the group stages itself, meant it would be our worst-ever World Cup campaign. But then in September of the same year, an underdog team, which no one had hoped did the impossible, winning the 2007 T20 World Cup in the final between India vs Pakistan, in the same jersey. During the competition, we wore a light blue jersey with a tricolour stripe running down the right side.

2011 Indian Cricket Team World Cup Jersey:

Indian Players celebrate the 2011 ICC CWC victory in the iconic jersey

Credit: Man's Life

The 2011 World Cup was happening in the subcontinent and India hadn’t won the tournament in 28 years and this was the perfect chance to do it. With match-winning performances by all team members, Virat Kohli, Sachin Tendulkar, Yuvraj Singh, Gautam Gambhir, MS Dhoni, Zaheer Khan and a solid collective team effort, we claimed the title by defeating Sri Lanka in the Final at the Wankhede Stadium. The 2011 Indian Cricket Team’s jersey is without a doubt one of the best and the one to which people are most emotionally attached. 

The 2011 Indian Cricket Team jersey featured a slightly darker shade of blue than the 2007 version. The team name, player name, and jersey numbers were written in orange. The jersey itself was a blend of dark and light blue, adorned with tricolour stripes on both sides.

2015 World Cup Jersey:

The Indian Team players in the 2015 Indian Team jersey

Credit: Zee India

The 2015 World Cup was held in Australia and India was entering the championship after a bad run of form prior to the tournament. The tournament started off with an India vs Pakistan match at the Adelaide Oval, a match where Virat Kohli scored a smashing ton. We qualified for the semi-finals but were obliterated by the Australian Cricket Team, the eventual winners of the tournament. The jersey was the same shade of blue as the 2011 one, with a few orange details and a stripe pattern. 

2019 Indian Cricket Team World Cup Jersey:

Indian players celebrate a wicket in the 2019 Indian team jersey

Credit: The Hans India

The 2019 World Cup is remembered for Rohit Sharma’s amazing batting, where he owned all bowling lineups scoring 5 hundreds and over 600 runs in a single World Cup edition. The tournament ended in the worst heartbreak for any ICT fan with that Dhoni run out against New Zealand in the semi-finals. This tournament was the first time ever India wore a home and away jersey. The main shirt was the traditional combo of light and dark blue colour with a narrow orange stripe on the abdomen. Also, the collars were different from the ones used in the prior years and orange was on the inside of the collars.

2019 Indian Cricket Team Orange Jersey:

Indian Cricket Team's away orange jersey

Credit: Bold Outline

The Indian Team played in an away jersey in the 2019 ICC CWC game against England in a much darker shade of blue and more prominent details of fluorescent orange. They only played in this jersey once but the response and liking that this shirt got from the fans was overwhelmingly positive.

The 2023 Indian Cricket Team Jersey:

Adidas' three new Indian Cricket Team jerseys for each format

Credit: Mint

The 2023 new Adidas Indian Cricket Team jersey was made with a collaboration between the German sportswear giant Adidas and BCCI. This was the first ever time India featured 3 stars on top of the BCCI crest on the shirt. Adidas launched 3 jerseys, one for each format, ODIs, T20s and Tests. For the ODI World Cup, the colour was dark blue with the iconic tricolour shoulder stripes. The T20 jersey is a round collar shirt and the Test jersey comes with a clean white look. 

Why Are Their 3 Stars on the Indian Cricket Team Jersey?

Three stars on the Indian Cricket Team jersey's crest

Credit: Quora

The three stars that are engraved on the team's jersey stand for India's three World Cup victories. So far, India has won one T20 World Cup and two 50-over World Cups. Their first World Cup victory came in 1983 when the underdogs defeated the formidable West Indies and became champions, captained by Kapil Dev. There was a 24-year-long wait for India's next World Cup Trophy, this time in the T20 World Cup in 2007, led by MS Dhoni. Under Dhoni's leadership, India won the 50-over World Cup at home four years later in 2011, which is still one of the best moments in India's sporting history. 

Which is the best Indian Cricket Team Jersey?

While all the jersey designs had some significance behind their design, there are some jerseys that have become immortal in the fans’ minds, for a player’s magnificent performances, an unforgettable cricket moment or any other reason. Here are the top 3 best Indian Cricket Team jerseys based on their design, and how emotionally attached we are to them:

2011 Jersey – World Cup Victory:

Gautam Gambhir celebrates a half century in the stained 2011 world cup jersey

Credit: Criconet

The 2011 Jersey is more famous for India’s win than the jersey itself. The team showed a collective team effort to win the tournament. It is the two stained jerseys from the tournament that all of us remember more than the new and fresh one. They are Yuvraj Singh’s stained jersey from the quarter finals against Australia and Gautam Gambhir’s stained shirt from the Final against Sri Lanka.

2003 Jersey – Sachin Tendulkar’s Masterclass

The 2003 Jersey, forever linked with Sachin Tendulkar's masterclass. You can close your eyes and feel the magic of Sachin's bat as he mesmerized the world with his brilliance. The 2003 World Cup Jersey evokes memories of hope and determination as India fought for glory on the world stage. It's a symbol of resilience, reminding fans of the team's unwavering spirit even in the face of adversity.

2023 WC Jersey – The Fan Favourite:

The 2023 Indian Cricket Team ODI jersey has become a fan favourite for several reasons. Being a special edition for the 2023 World Cup, with three stars over the BCCI crest, it holds extra value for collectors. It also adds a unique touch with the tricolour stripes on the shoulders, reflecting the national spirit. Though we could not go all the way to lift the trophy, it will remain one of the best in terms of design for a long time. 

How much money does it take to sponsor the Indian Cricket Team?

The sponsorship rights of the Indian Cricket Team jersey are one of the most lucrative money-making deals for the BCCI. A lot of brands and companies are always on the look to be positioned centrally on Indian shirt, as it attracts one of the highest number of views and impression for a brand. In recent times, Byju’s, Dream 11 and OPPO have been the lead sponsors. For companies looking to be the primary sponsor of Indian cricket, the BCCI has set a minimum annual fee of ₹350 crore. According to one of the sources, the base price for bilateral matches involving India is ₹3 crore, while the price for International Cricket Council (ICC) and Asian Cricket Council (ACC) tournaments is ₹1 crore per match. This base price is lower than what Byju's, the previous sponsor, was paying. Byju's used to pay ₹5.07 crore for Indian matches and ₹1.56 crore for ICC and ACC games. Also, the BCCI won't allow betting, cryptocurrency, tobacco, and real-money gaming companies to bid for the sponsorship.

Adidas took on the role of becoming the kit producer/sponsor in 2023 replacing Killer Jeans by paying a package of Rs. 350 Crores in a five-year deal. Every time India plays, the company will be compelled to give ₹65 lakh to the BCCI. The estimated yearly cost, including merchandise royalties, is ₹70 crore.


Who is jersey No 1 in Indian team?

KL Rahul, the current vice captain of the Indian Team wears the number 1 jersey.

Which jersey numbers are retired from the Indian Cricket Team?

The BCCI has retired the Sachin Tendulkar's jersey number 10 and MS Dhoni's jersey number 7 to honour their everlasting contribution to the nation.

Why is Virat Kohli wears the jersey number 18?

Virat Kohli started wearing jersey number 18 because it held significant personal meaning for him. He made his India debut on August 18th, and tragically, his father passed away on December 18, 2006. These events made the number 18 deeply important to Kohli, symbolizing both his cricketing journey and his bond with his father.

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