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The Evolution of Pakistan Kit

The Evolution of Pakistan Kit

Easily the most iconic in not just Pakistani culture, but within cricket’s nostalgic circles as well. The 1992 World Cup was the first to feature coloured kits, and the tournament’s format and unpredictability electrified the sport. The fact that Pakistan won it in the most Pakistan way possible meant that their already beautiful lime-green kit entered history. It was the most popular replica when the design made a re-entry ahead of the 2015 World Cup’s return to Oceania, and its easy to see why. Lacking any of the now ubiquitous advertising, it had a clean design and a remarkably original choice hue of green. Indeed, go through the kits from the World Cup and its tough to find ones you don’t like.

Much like hipsters who prefer more obscure versions of your favourite song, this jersey below is the hipster’s pick over the far more awami 1992 World Cup version. Used in the World Series down under, it’s radical lightning design and comic-book style font was wonderfully suited to a side like Pakistan, capable of both the erratic behaviour of lightning as well as the thunderbolt impact of its fast bowlers. It is only a slightly darker hue of green than the 1992 one, yet surprisingly this color hasn’t come back a lot in Pakistan’s various designs. Easily one of the best kits Pakistan ever had.

The third choice from a tournament from down-under, this is undoubtedly the most original design ever conceived for Pakistani shirts. Rather than going with green all over, this one made blue, associated with archrivals India, as a prominent color, which became the dominant color in the pants. It also had a bright red color for the letters, and rather than keeping the logo as a tiny design above the breast, this design exploded it and placed it on the shoulder as well. Overall, this shirt was a masterpiece.

This, along with the 1992 version, is the most popular Pakistan jersey of all time. It takes it cues from the iconic 92 version in terms of the color, though its paler hue of lime was far more neon and almost punk. It also went with a huge star logo, though this time it was across the chest and provided a visual relief to the rest of the kit. This was the last major tournament where all teams had similarly designed shirts - since then, boards have made their own deals with sponsors and get their own designs made. Perhaps this was why the 1999 World Cup was the last with so many great kits - the general idea of bright colors around a huge logo on the torso was a wonderful one in terms of its execution. Many kits have since tried to emulate the lime green kits, which played World Cup finals, but none have recaptured that essence.

This kit, despite owning a world title, wasn’t as iconic as the 1999 or 1992 versions. For one, its design was quite generic, with a two-toned approach and no logo designs on it. However, the color combination was solid and the warm yellow went really well with the green. The yellow was also given room to breathe, rather than finding itself reduced to armpit patches that later designs would feature. However, there was nothing to distinguish it on first look, and that was perhaps its biggest flaw.

We have now gotten past most of the great kits to emerge at this monstrosity. The 2011 World Cup kit took elements from the 2009 kit and generally made them worse. The secondary color became a sickly lime green, while the yellow used in the logo and trimming became bland. The gradient effect across the shirt was also uninspiring, and the odd placement of the star in the crescent summed up the confusing, underwhelming appearance of this shirt.

The 2014 WT20 kit was a much improved version of the kit shown above. The choice of green was far darker now, but had been offset much better with the use of a gold and light green as the secondary colors. The crescent and star had also been placed far better here, though the darkness of the design largely drowned them out. That being said, it barely stood out on its own. The color was far too close to the palette Australia inexplicably chose for their own kits (abandoning the iconic canary yellow for some matches) and the design didn’t have any distinguishing features that you’d remember. It wasn’t as terrible as the one above, but it wasn’t great either.

Hands down the worst kit ever made for Pakistan, this was a disaster of epic proportions. For starters, it looked like a terrible knockoff even on TV. No other kit has ever looked as much like some badly made copy of a proper kit as this one. And this is before we get to its horrendous, unripe watermelon design. The choice of green was particularly bad, and the darker trimmings that go with it seemed to clash more than complement. But what was truly awful were the weird designs - the thin stripes at the top were complemented by a weird polka-dot line across the butt. There were faded shapes across the torso too, none of which had any connection to the team.

This was arguably the first original design Pakistan has had in a decade. Going with an entirely new hue of green, this kit was earmarked for its simple design, and intelligent use of the yellow trimmings. There were absolutely no patterns or such anywhere, which allowed the beautiful tint of green to speak for itself. Its teal-like effect was a much different direction for the team colors and was a welcome relief from the tyranny of forest green that had plagued most of the 21st century kits. The 2015 WC kit then showed that it wasn’t wise to go back to lime. This then was an inspired switch, and was made instantly more iconic by the fact that it graced a memorable CT win.