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Originally, as indicated by the name whites, flannels were exclusively white or cream. Today, many competitions (particularly in the shortened one-day version of cricket) are played in coloured kit, also known jocularly as pyjamas.
Flannels were originally made from a variety of flannel materials. Typically, modern flannels will have trousers made with a high elastic content, to prevent damage while fielding. Shirts and jumpers can be short or long-sleeved, the former being particularly favoured by bowlers. Wicketkeepers mostly wear long-sleeved shirts, in order to avoid abrasions from the grass when diving for the ball. Jumpers are traditionally made with a cable-knit design.
The term flannels is also used in baseball, especially in a historical context when the uniforms were made of wool flannel.
At the international level, whites are only worn during Test cricket. One Day International and Twenty20 matches are played with the teams wearing team uniforms in particular colours. One-Day Internationals were first played in white clothes but after December 2000, all ODI cricket utilises coloured clothing. For example, the Black Caps of New Zealand currently wear a black uniform when playing a one-day match.