Wednesday, 27 July 2011

A sweater story

Fantasy Bob invites your attention to the photograph above.  It is of MS Dhoni leading his team onto the field at Lords during the recent Test.  FB is uncertain why the Indian team need to advertise a large desert in North Africa, but that is their business.

But one feature stands out.  While several of the team are wearing the modern fleece type sweater, Harbhajan Singh - second right - sports a more traditional cable knit sleeveless job.  The reasons are undisclosed, as is the complicated legal process through which he probably went to get special permission from the kit sponsor for his distinctive sartorial choice. 
Hollywood icon
and cricket sweater fan
Good for Harbhajan's respect for traditional attire.  For the cable knit cricket sweater is rapidly becoming a thing of the past.  Once it defined cricket clothing and indeed it was a fashion item in itself particularly in countries that did not actually play cricket.  Nowadays it may still be a fashion item but only for the most preppy of preppy folk but it is rarely seen on the cricket field.  Increasingly it is described as a vintage cricket sweater.  For the fleece has taken its place. 

At one time FB's collection of cable knits was a source of pride.  He would take the field of play protected against the chilling Edinburgh winds festooned in 5 sweaters.  In order a sleeveless Bukta cable knit; a M&S white sports sweater with navy trim purchased in Oxford in 1977; an  unbranded acrylic cable knit with no colour trim;  a woollen cable knit made specially for him by his mother in law with navy blue colour trim; and finally a G&M acrylic cable knit with red and blue colour trim. the last was XL specially to go over the top of all the others. 

The preppy look
FBs first over generally involved successive delayering as one by one, ball by ball, the layers were transferred to the umpire who generally made some inappropriate remark after layer 3.  Occasionally such was the chill in the wind that no layers were taken off at all.
Nowadays though FB can survive with just one Canterbury sleeveless sweater with Carlton badge, a shirt and a base layer.  It is a credit to the design of the sweater and its wind proofing that it is 100% more effective in preventing the wind chill that was all the layering up of years ago.  It almost gives FB faith in the modern world. 

Almost he still carries his mother in laws hand knitted article in his bag.  Just to be on the safe side.

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