Steve Smith breaks with tradition and FINALLY replaces shabby baggy green with brand new cap after revealing RATS had defaced it in Sri Lanka
There was something distinctly different about Steve Smith on the opening day of the first Test against South Africa in Brisbane.
The typical extravagant leaves outside off stump were still there, as was the Aussie star’s meticulous, fidgety routine before taking guard.
But when Smith fielded at the Gabba, he did so in a brand new Baggy Green.
Steve Smith took to the field in Brisbane wearing a brand new Baggy Green on Saturday
The former Australian captain came under fire in the second Test against the West Indies in Adelaide last week after donning a Baggy Green that looked close to disintegrating.
Smith subsequently revealed that his cap was so badly damaged because rodents gnawed away at it while he was playing in Sri Lanka during July’s test series.
‘I left it overnight in the change room in Galle like I do everywhere and turned up next day and rats had got to it, I think,’ he told The Australian.
The 33-year-old isn’t the first Australian to wear his Baggy Green long past it has started looking worse for wear.
His cap had looked decidedly worse for wear last week in the Test against the West Indies
Steve Waugh was famously the first player to take the field with a cap in very poor condition, while icons like Ricky Ponting and Justin Langer had baggy green caps that were literally falling apart on the final day of their Test careers.
‘I never contemplated replacing it just because it had aged. I saw the stains, tears, fading and fraying as badges of honour, each imperfection telling a story,’ Waugh said.
In the 1990s Waugh introduced the practice of having former players handing out the prized cap to debutants, after Mark Taylor created the tradition of marking players’ Test debut for Australia by handing them the Baggy Green.
Ricky Ponting’s famously cap had to be repaired multiple times, including when the peak fell off, with new rips and tears appearing through to his final Test 10 years ago.
Smith made 38 in Australia’s first innings before being bowled by Anrich Nortje with 10 minutes left to play in the day
‘I haven’t got one piece of cricket memorabilia up in my house anywhere, but this is obviously a bit more special than the rest of it,’ he said during his final Test.
‘It might need some renovating or something done to it. It’s been done up a couple of times over the years already. So we’ll see what happens with it.’
Smith’s debut in his brand new headgear was a mixed bag.
The former Australia captain took two catches as the hosts skittled South Africa out for 152, dismissing Kyle Verreynne off the bowling of Nathan Lyon and Keshav Maharaj off the bowling of Mitchell Starc.
Mitchell Starc took 3-41 as Australia bowled out South Africa for 152 on Day One in Brisbane
Smith made 38 in Australia’s first innings and put up on a 117-run partnership with Travis Head, before being bowled by Anrich Nortje with 10 minutes left to play in the day.
Head hit an unbeaten 78 from only 77 balls with Australia going to stumps at 5-145 after they had collapsed to 3-27.
Earlier, Starc took 3-41 as Australia ripped through the tourists’ batting line-up on a green track at the Gabba. But the star quick will have to wait to become the seventh Australia to reach 300 Test wickets after starting the match four shy of the milestone.