London, Apr.18 : Another hallowed cricket tradition has taken a fall.
The woollen V-necked sweater, baggy and bearing mysterious stains, which has been a part of cricket at all levels since the early days, has been replaced by the figure-hugging ClimaCool, a man-made fibre said to push sweat away from cricketers' skin.
The ClimaCool is the latest fad introduced in cricket, the others being matches that can be completed in three hours, cheerleaders, players auctioned to the highest bidder and pink balls.
"England will be cooler, drier and more comfortable than ever before," The Times quoted Hugh Morris, the managing director of the England and Wales Cricket Board, as saying.
"With this kit, England will be the best-equipped team in the world."
Michael Vaughan, England's Test captain, said: "The cricket sweater has been my bugbear for many a year. This new fabric will give us a lighter feel. Even if it's a little cold, I am delighted to see the end of the last woolly sweater."
However, former England captain, Bob Willis, said the old sweater was "a very important piece of kit" for fast bowlers.
"In cold weather, when you'd finished bowling ten overs and were dripping with perspiration, it would keep you cool," he said.
John Woodcock, the venerable former cricket correspondent of The Times and former Editor of Wisden Cricketers' Almanack, said that he was sorry to see another tradition go. "I have the fondest memories of old-style sweaters," he said.
There will be some dismay at another innovation -- the idea that cricket whites should be white.
Traditionally, cricketers have worn off-white or cream-coloured trousers, but the new England kit is what paint manufacturers would call brilliant white, with red piping.