A lot of modern cricketers wear sunglasses these days mainly to protect themselves from the harmful UV rays during the day. Cricketers spend a good amount of time on the field and are exposed to sunlight which could be detrimental to their vision. The UV rays, according to medical research, are capable of causing cataract, eye damage and even cancer. The sunglasses are also of vital importance for fielders in key position such as short-leg or wicket-keeping as it protects them from squinting.
But it is important to understand that the cricketers, for their benefit, must wear only prescribed sunglasses.
A research done by a reputed sunglass company Oakley suggest that the expensive lenses make a significant difference to clarity, distortion and eyestrain compared to other makes. Moreover, the use of cheaper makes create a difference in clarity, which a professional cricketer cannot afford to have in today’s highly-competitive world.
An optometric study done by England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) to improve cricketers’ vision on the field found that with the aid of the right kind of eyewear, it is possible for a fielder to enhance the ability to spot the ball by up to 28 per cent. The study was done to help elevate the standard of fielding. (Report published in The Telegraph, May 2009)
With so many scientific evidences at hand, it should be now clear that the sunglasses for a sportsman are guards to protect against potential harmful UV rays and elevate performance than mere style statements. Perhaps, cynics need to improve their “vision” towards sports and science.