June 4, 2017

Can anyone pull off a white jacket (other than Travolta and MJ)?

India and Kohli tried in 2013, and it wasn't pretty
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The day disco died: Virat Kohli arranges his limbs in a way to resemble dancing © Philip Brown

Maybe it is just me but I can't remember much about the last Champions Trophy, in 2013. I was working for Reuters and shot every match. Well, almost every match. I missed one as I was asked to cover a Shane Warne charity game where Liz Hurley acted as an umpire for part of it. For the record, she seemed really lovely.

Anyway, my only vivid memory of the Champions Trophy competition is that the winners, India, who kind of came from behind in the final to defeat England at Edgbaston, wore white jackets as they were presented with the trophy.

Most sports fans remember Liverpool turning up for an FA Cup final in white suits. You've got to be uber cool to pull off the white outfit. Not many can. John Travolta is the most successful wearer of a white outfit in history. In Saturday Night Fever (1977), he wore a white polyester suit, which was sold at an auction for US$145,000. Elvis Presley and Michael Jackson had a go at the white suit (not the same one, I hasten to add) and in my opinion got away with it. Author Tom Wolfe had a shot too.

Late in the evening of June 23, 2013, the Indian team put on the white jackets after their victory. Ishant Sharma, what were you thinking? MS Dhoni, I expect so much more of you.

Virat Kohli, what can I say? You not only slipped on the white jacket, but you threw some shapes to the delight of your team-mates. This really should have led to at least a six-match ban. Excessive appealing, betting and ball-tampering are one thing, but dancing in an inappropriate outfit, to me, is completely disgraceful.

I really don't want to see it again after this year's final on June 18.

This isn't even one of my favourite photographs - just a record of a very troubled time.

Nikon D4 camera 1/500th 600ASA f4 Nikkor 24-70mm at 58mm

An Australian freelance cricket photographer based in England, Philip Brown has photographed over 200 Test matches around the world

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Karthikeyan on June 8, 2017, 8:40 GMT

    @CRICINFOUSER : You are correct that this tradition of suiting the winning team was a tradition that the organizers initiated, & it started with the 2009 Champions Trophy (CT) when the Aus team successfully defended its title in RSA. For CT 2013, "McCann Bespoke Blazers" were commissioned to make the white suit jackets for the winning team in UK. So, it had nothing to do with the Ind team's choice - which eventually won CT 2013. As of today, Thursday, 8th June, 2017, out of 21 respondents, 18 (86 %) say that Mr. Brown has been hypocritical in his article about the white suit jacket not suiting the victorious Ind team of 2013 - in a CricSkipper site survey. Only 3 (15 %) respondents support him. So, this is a sample of an overwhelming majority that think that Philip Brown implied in this article - by not mentioning that the Aus team of 2009 wore the same type of suits - that it suited them more, than the Ind team of 2013 ! Hope he understands that it is all in the eyes of the beholder !

  •   Cricinfouser on June 8, 2017, 5:48 GMT

    Well one thing for sure, if Indian players "allegedly" could not pull this off, no one could can or will. But I liked it. Above all, it was a decision by the organisers that winners wear white jacket, nothing to do with players' personal choice.

  • Jay Gadsdon on June 7, 2017, 16:01 GMT

    Travolta and Michael Jackson -what about ritchie benaud?? This is a cricket article surely everyone knows who he is.

  • Ankit Kumar on June 7, 2017, 7:17 GMT

    I think the white goes best with the blue jersey. Any other color would not provide so much of contrast to the entire outfit. Hope to see the same combination this time as well. :)

  • Abhishek on June 7, 2017, 7:12 GMT

    If Roger Federer cannot quite pull off a(n) (almost) White jacket (at Wimbledon, sort of his backyard) then it is too much to expect upstarts like Kohli to do so :-D On the other hand, what matters is how you feel inside. I second Albert1 that a winner can do what he feels like doing!

  • Sukeths on June 6, 2017, 20:36 GMT

    Goodness gracious! I just saw the 2009 champions trophy photograph. Those whiye jackets really need to be banned. And good piece Mr. Brown. I absolutely loved the satire.

  • ajeet on June 6, 2017, 9:12 GMT

    How beautifully satirical. 4 years since and it has come back flooding to me now. The 6 match ban for what Kohli thought was an impromptu dance would always have my vote. Very richly deserved. That on top of the hideous jackets. Ai ai ai. Nonetheless, we need to learn how to take a joke. Great piece Mr Brown.

  • Albert on June 5, 2017, 17:41 GMT

    Beautifully written, hilarious, and satirical. I am a Saffer, and I do not think that the white was too bad, although pretty bad. But hey, if you win a CT, do what you like! . To me, India is one of the teams to beat this time around. Hats of to a great team. . But the fans? Or at least those of them that blog? Hmmmm, if you cannot laugh at yourself and/or your team, then that sounds like Covfefe to me... . Lighten up guys! . And keep it up, Mr Brown! . If SA ever win silverware, you can joke as much as you like; I promise you that no one in SA will take exception.

  • Bharath on June 5, 2017, 15:36 GMT

    I actually loved it...made them all look really good and happy

  • Karthikeyan on June 5, 2017, 6:07 GMT

    Is Mr Brown not being a little bit hypocritical when he says that the Ind team could not "pull off" wearing white suit jackets during their Champions Trophy (CT) '13 victory celebrations ? After all, Aus had worn the same outfit when they retained the CT cup in RSA in '09. Mr Brown did not mention whether they were able to "pull it off !!" I have decided to poll readers on CricSkipper's Survey page, illustrating with pictures - both teams during their victory celebrations in the not so ubiquitous white suit jacket, in '09, & '13. Please take a few moments, to submit your opinion, & you will be notified as to whether the majority sided with you or not. It seems that for Mr Brown, that Orwellian comment (from George Orwell's book "1984"), that "some people are more equal than others," applies to this case; besides, of course, MJ, Elvis, & Travolta, who were able to pull off this "feat." When it comes to Aus for him, it seems that he likes looking at their victory with rose tinted glasses

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