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Cricket is played in many countries around the world, such as India, Barbados, Australia, and Pakistan. These countries all have one thing in common – sunshine. Perhaps you wouldn’t expect to have to wear eye protection playing in the north of England, but when the best players in the world take to The Gabba, the sun is almost certainly going to be shining.
Cricket Sunglasses are not unusual; since Dean Jones made his famous catch in 1991, the first by a player wearing sunglasses, they’ve been something of a feature. We’ve seen them in women’s cricket – Harmanpreet Kaurt donned sunglasses for her emotional post-match interview following a World Cup Semi-Final defeat against Australia. She did it to hide tears off the pitch, but Bangladeshi batsman Litton Das wore them whilst batting against Ireland!
Cricketers of all levels may need to consider eye protection from the sun whilst playing, and in many instances, it can improve visibility by reducing glare. With that in mind, we’ve put together a guide to selecting the best cricket sunglasses for you when you next step up to the crease.
UV rays can seriously damage your eyes – prolonged exposure can lead to cataract formation resulting in blurred vision. If you’re tracking the trajectory of a boundary shot, blurred vision is going to be a serious problem. With that in mind, you must consider sunglasses with 100% UV protection for cricket.
One of the major players in the sports market is Bollé glasses, and their Brecken sunglasses are hugely popular as they offer full UV protection. They’ve also lightweight, available in two colors if you need a change, and they have thermoplastic rubber, ensuring a tight grip on a sweaty face. Stability could be massively important as you bowl or catch.
Picture the scene – a ball is in the air, heading towards you. You leap forward, performing a magnificent catch, but your sunglasses fall from your face and break on the hard pitch. For the rest of the game, you have the sun’s glare to contend with and a bill for a new pair when you get back to the pavilion. Not good.
That’s why it pays to pick a sturdy pair of glasses that can perform under stress. In this instance, Oakley glasses are a great choice, as they have a reputation for strength and durability. The Oakley M2 Frame XL is a solid choice as they have patented O Matter frames that are 25% lighter and twice as strong as normal acetate. The Oakley Radar EV, worn by India’s Virat Kohli and England’s Joe Root, is another that utilizes the O Matter technology for strength.
The benefit of a polarized lens is that they have a chemical applied to them that filters light, like a mini blind on the front of your glasses. It eliminates glare, so if someone is drinking in the crowd and their glass catches the sun, you shouldn’t be blinded. With so much going on, glare can be a huge problem, so selecting cricket sunglasses with polarized filters are highly recommended.
O’Neil Shore glasses are at the lower end of the price spectrum and come with polarized lenses. They don’t have the traditional sporty look about them, so for an amateur player, they might be more suitable as you could wear them for driving or other daily tasks without looking out of place.
Finally, you should always consider your prescription. Abrar Ahmed wore spectacles against England in December, and it’s believed they’re prescription to help him with his bowling. Prescription sunglasses can be a way to block out the sun and sharpen eyesight, and if you wear prescription glasses every day, then ensuring you factor that into your cricket eyewear is hugely important.
Many sunglasses providers, such as Oakley, allow you to integrate prescriptions into their popular brands, so ensuring you can focus on that catch or maybe bowl out the opposite batsman, will be as easy as ever!