From time to time, we may see international cricket teams adopt a different colour in order to support a worthy cause. Here is the story behind South Africa’s pink jersey matches.
Why do South Africa wear Pink Jerseys?
South Africa’s traditional colour for limited overs internationals is green, but there are a few occasions when they will wear pink.
This is because they are raising awareness for breast cancer. Proceeds from the games are currently donated to the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital.
The Reason for the Pink Day
Pink Day games are usually played at the Wanderers which is one of South Africa’s oldest and most easily recognised stadiums. One Day Internationals are the preferred format as the game is much longer and there is more time to raise awareness.
There is no single player used as a focal point as can happen in other countries. As AB De Villiers once said, this is all about raising awareness and helping out a local hospital.
Pink Jersey Matches and Records
vs Pakistan – March, 2013
South Africa won their first ever Pink Day game when they took on Pakistan in 2013. AB De Villiers had a particularly good record in pink matches and he scored 128 in this fixture.
vs India – December, 2013
The second pink jersey game was against India in 2013 and the South Africans would come through with another victory.
This was, in fact, a huge win as the home side came through via the wide margin of 141 runs.
vs West Indies – January 2015
AB De Villiers raised the profile of pink jersey games in the best possible way in 2015. This was the match where Mr 360 degrees made the fastest ODI hundred of all time, passing three figures after just 31 balls.
AB went on to score 149 from 44 deliveries as South Africa won by a mammoth 148 runs.
vs England – February, 2016
South Africa have an exceptional record in pink jersey games and this match in 2016 produced another win. The game was much tighter this time, after England batted first and posted 262.
South Africa won by just one wicket after Chris Morris blasted 62 late on.
vs Sri Lanka – February, 2017
Sri Lanka were next up with a pink jersey game taking place in February 2017. The match ended in a comfortable seven wicket win for the hosts and the most memorable moment came when play had to be held up for over an hour due to a swarm of bees.
vs India – February, 2018
India participated in their second pink jersey match when they toured in 2018. India made a competitive total of 289/7 batting first, but bad weather meant that Duckworth Lewis came into play.
South Africa chased down their revised target of 202 for the loss of five wickets.
vs Pakistan – January, 2019
Defeat to Pakistan in 2019 was South Africa’s first loss in a pink jersey match. South Africa were all out for 164 at the end of the 41st over and Pakistan chased that down for the loss of two wickets with more than 18 overs to spare.
vs England – February, 2020
England inflicted South Africa’s second loss in pink jerseys when they won this ODI in 2020. The eventual winning margin of two wickets seems narrow, but the tourists looked to have the game in the bag for some time.
South Africa made 256/7 and a late England collapse gave the home side hope before the tourists got over the line.
vs Pakistan – April, 2021
South Africa were back to winning ways in pink when they overcame Pakistan in 2021. Captain Temba Bavuma made 92 as the home side posted 341/6 and the tourists could only reply with 324/9.
vs Bangladesh – March, 2022
South Africa’s most recent pink jersey game at the time of writing took place on March 20th, 2022. Bangladesh were the opposition, but the match ended in an easy victory for the home side.
The tourists made 194/9 batting first, while South Africa chased down that total with seven wickets and more than 12 overs to spare.
Anything that can be done to raise awareness of horrendous conditions such as breast cancer has to be applauded and encouraged. South Africa have been committed to this cause for ten years now, but there are similar days in other countries.
Australia have a pink test in honour of Jane McGrath, while England have gone ‘Red for Ruth’ for Andrew Strauss’ late wife Ruth.
This will also be a very fluid list and we can expect to see more games added to it in the future. Keep checking the fixture scheduled to find out details for 2023 and beyond.