by Anton Lloyd-Williams
Chris Thurgate, after looking at the team photo from the 2010 Chiba Cup (see it here), remarked that no two players were dressed the same and we looked more like a rag tag assembly of hired guns than a single cricket team. As Chiba’s best dressed man, he could no longer accept this affront to his sartorial sensibilites and set in motion the search for a team kit.
We had used a team kit of sorts before but it was uncomfortable, bright green and quickly fell into disrepair. The Management Commitee were tasked with finding a new, reasonably priced kit that would stand up to the rough and tumble of cricket but got little further than receiving some shoddy looking samples from Indonesia.
Enter into the fray, style guru and champion of getting things done, Keiichi Warabi. Keiichi quickly tracked down 3 or 4 manufacturers of quality kit in Japan, procured samples and worked out pricing options. After a thorough examination of the options, the MC picked Ichigaya based LongYong to supply the Sharks with their new togs.
The next step was to choose a design. Anton and Keiichi ran up 4 designs, all featuring the Sharks red and green colours and the team members were asked to choose their prefered style.
Shirts 1 and 2 were non-starters and it was neck and neck for a while between shirts 3 and 4. Shirt 3 ran out the winner in the end but a few grumbles were raised about the red collar. It was switched to white and we finally had a design we were all happy with.
Keiichi, Anton and Dave then met reps from LongYong to finalize the details, Koji took care of the finances and 3 weeks later our splendid new threads arrived just in time for a T20 double header in Sano. It proved to be a lucky shirt too as we won both games! Keiichi followed up with the caps that he sourced and designed himself. These arrived in time for a crucial JCL clash with Adore. We won that too and in some style.
Let’s hope the kit continues to stay lucky and with a bit of care, it should last a long time. Cleaning tip for players: In order to preserve the logo, when washing your shirt, it is best to turn it inside out and put it in a “washing net” (ask your wives) before putting it in the “washing machine” (ask your wives).
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