The baggy green refers to the cap that Australian cricket players wear during test matches. In the 1990s, the efforts of former Australian captain Steve Waugh led to the cap being associated as a symbol of national pride.
Waugh believed in honouring traditions and felt that a player who wears the baggy green is honored with the highest accolade of representing their country. Before Waugh, the baggy green never carried a sense of pride. In fact, some legends of Australian cricket never even preserved their baggy green.
When a player makes their test debut for Australia, the captain of the side presents the debutant with the baggy green cap. In most cases a player never replaces their baggy green cap. Over the years, the color of the baggy green fades. The more it fades, the more it represents the seniority of a player. Mark Taylor also started a ritual where all players wore the baggy green in the first session of a test match as a sign of solidarity.
The Australian “Coat of Arms” is a distinct identification feature of the baggy green cap apart from its characteristic shape. The Coat of Arms bears a shield containing a Southern Cross. On all four sections of the shield are the images of a sailing ship, golden fleece, a garb of wheat, and a pick axe and shovel. On either side of the shield are a kangaroo and an emu. Above the shield is a rising sun and below it is the motto, “Australia”.
Baggy green caps are licensed by Cricket Australia and manufactured by Kookabura Sport. They are not for sale and are never available commercially. When auctioned, these caps fetch high prices, starting from $10,000 Australian dollars. Recently, late great Shane Warner’s baggy green cap was bought for $10,07,500 Australian dollars by the Commonwealth Bank in an auction held in 2020.
The baggy green is one of the most famous accessories in cricket. As of July 2023, 466 Australian players have had the honor of wearing the baggy green cap.