On Feb 17 2005, cricketing history was made in Auckland. New Zealand wore their beige kit for the first time since the 1980s, and augmented it with moustaches, sideburns and even, in the case of Hamish Marshall, an afro. Oh, and it was against Australia in the first ever Twenty20 international, but that is a mere footnote. So iconic had the Kiwis' beige kit become that it even inspired a portion of New Zealand cricket fans to rebrand themselves as the 'Beige Brigade' in 1999.
Not the most exciting nickname for a bunch of fans, but a far more colourful group than the colour they actually celebrate. In their own words: "It's about passion not fashion." The group, many of whom also enjoy wearing 'stubbies' (the shortest of short shorts), even sent NZ$100 (Dh213) to New Zealand Cricket in 2003, asking for the kit to be brought back. Two years later they got their wish, despite Chief Executive Officer of New Zealand Cricket Martin Sneddon previously telling them: "NZ Cricket had invested heavily in the black branding for the Black Caps and that a return to beige was completely out of the question."
The love of beige dates back to the success New Zealand enjoyed while wearing the kit in the 1980s, with the likes of Richard Hadlee and Martin Crowe in the team. In the end Australia won the inaugural T20 international by 44 runs, but it was their hosts the day who remain champions of cricketing couture. * Alex Kunawicz