Sydney: Australian Test cricket discard Michael Slater was told on Thursday he may have tattooed himself with the wrong number. The 74-Test opener had been led to believe he was the 356th player to represent Australia and had the number tattooed on his body and the personalised number plate MS356 made for his new red Ferrari.
But the Australian Cricket Board (ACB) said on Thursday he may in fact be the 357th Test player behind Brendon Julian, with whom he made his debut against England in Manchester in 1993. Slater had assumed that because he was higher up the batting order and Australia batted first, that he would be listed ahead of Julian. But the ACB said Test numbering was done alphabetically, which leaves Julian in front. Slater, however, remained adamant he was still number 356. "It will say that in the stats," he said. And official ACB statistician Ross Dundas said there was no clear way of determining Slater's position. "There is no hard and fast rule about this," Dundas said. "Most people would assume you would do it alphabetically." The ACB website, baggygreen.com.au, lists Julian ahead of Slater on the official list of Test caps although Julian came in at number eight in that 1993 Test whereas Slater opened with Mark Taylor.