Loud-mouthed cricket fans rejoice! For you now have the opportunity to deliver arguably the ultimate sporting sledge to Test Match players from all over the world. Despite the concept being officially announced back in March this year, circulation of an image of captain Tim Paine with a large “7” on his back has brought home the reality that Test players will now wear numbers on the back of their shirts.

While the move has predictably received condemnation from cricket purists across the globe, one local fan claims it’s a great innovation that will allow him to deliver more severe burns to the opposition as he sits in the outer this summer. Self-diagnosed “cricket tragic” Marcus Hamilton contacted The Watsonia Bugle this afternoon to throw his support behind the controversial change, explaining that it now facilitates the use of his all-time favourite sporting sledge.

Hamilton said, “This is great news mate, there’s nothing better than referring to a player by their number. It’s the ultimate ignominy. It lets the athlete know that the person abusing them doesn’t even know who they are, and has no interest in finding out. It says, ‘you are nothing to me, but I still reserve my right to criticise you in a public forum’. I love it, it’s my all-time favourite method of abusing someone who is far more talented than I am.”

While the sledge is more common at the local footy, Hamilton claims it will not sound out of place at the Boxing Day Test amongst thousands of supporters at the MCG. He said, “Mate, the fans will love it. Imagine the next time India come out for Boxing Day and some legend refers to Kohli by his number. Haha, one of the best batsmen in the world reduced to a mere number. He’d never recover from it, I’m telling ya.”

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