Ashes 2019: ICC wants England, Australia to wear numbered test shirts

The Ashes urn in 2015.
The Ashes urn in 2015. Photo credit: Getty

This year's Ashes series will see players from England and Australia wearing shirts with their surname and a number on their back of their whites.

The ICC has confirmed the initiative to Press Association Sport, as part of a much wider promotional plan around the world test championship.

England and Australia's latest battle for the urn begins on August 1 and will mark the beginning of the test championship, a nine-team competition set to run until 2021, which could give added context to the longest format of the game.

Names and numbers on the back of shirts have been a distinction in the limited-overs formats for several years, and worn by players in both the Sheffield Shield and the county championship.

But it will prove a watershed in test cricket, in which matches have been played in plain cream or white shirts since the inaugural game between England and Australia in 1877.