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Greg Chappell's baggy green: New traditions

Greg Chappell's baggy green: New traditions

A daytime colour photograph of a male cricketer. He faces to the right of the photograph and is seen from about mid-chest height up. He holds aloft in his gloved left hand a baggy green cap, as though he is acknowledging the crowd. He wears a white cricket shirt and has brown hair. The photo background is very out of focus, which reduces it to a mass of indistinct shapes.
You know what? It's not just a game to me I've had the same cap for 13 years. It's the greatest game in the world ... I've learned how to handle success, how to handle criticism, how to handle failure, how to fight back from adversity. I've learned about mateship, leadership. It's all because of the baggy green cap.

Australian batsman Justin Langer, 2007.

Above right: Australian batsman Justin Langer, 2007. Courtesy: Hamish Blair, Getty Images.

A daytime colour photograph of a male cricketer. He has been photographed in close-up, so that only his head and neck are visible. He wears a white shirt and a baggy green cap. The cap has the Australian Coat of Arms on the front. There are signs of wear and tear on the cap in the form of loose threads and seams pulling apart. The cricketer's gaze is directed at something or someone beyond the camera. His expression is one of determination and resolve.

Originally, a baggy green cap was simply supplied to each player with his equipment and a new one was issued for each tour. In the early 1990s, however, an unofficial tradition emerged among the players of never replacing a cap. The more dilapidated a cap, the more it signifies a player's seniority.

Mark Taylor, team captain from 1994 to 1999, began formally presenting each Test debutant with their cap. His successor, Steve Waugh, developed the tradition by inviting former cricketing greats to present the caps to newcomers to the team. Waugh also introduced the practice of all players wearing the cap as a sign of team solidarity during the first fielding session of a Test match.

Right: The unofficial practice of never replacing a baggy green cap began in the 1990s. Steve Waugh refused to replace his as it held too many memories to simply
discard it. Courtesy: William West, Getty Images.