Photo feature

Shades of summer

Cover your eyes - we've got cricketers wearing sunglasses

Nishi Narayanan  |  

Adrian Murrell / © Getty Images

We've all wondered from time to time: how well can you see through those coloured sunglasses cricketers love to wear? But Queen Elizabeth, with the might of centuries of the British monarchy behind her, chose to find out for herself: at Highclere Castle (where a large part of Downton Abbey was shot), during a tour game in 1994, she tries on David Gower's pair.

Was she impressed? Possibly? Could it have become part of royal fashion? Unlikely - it clashes quite horribly with the crown, doesn't it? Earlier this month, the 92-year-old Queen was seen in public sporting far hipper pairs of shades - an unusual sighting if you were to believe the entertainment dailies - not to declare the summer open but because she was recovering from cataract surgery.

Rebecca Naden / © PA Photos/Getty Images

This might be a fun way to hold your ice-cream, but it's not clever: the sun reflecting off the glasses is likely to melt your dessert faster. Come on, Goochie, you should know that!

William West / © AFP/Getty Images

How do you make out the difference between identical twins in cricket uniform? Give them different coloured sunnies, of course.

Christopher Pillitz / © Getty Images

A great way to show your support for your team, but not ideal if you actually want to watch the game.

Ishara S Kodikara / © AFP/Getty Images

But could we borrow that pair to avoid this scene? Before Misbah decided to charm us with his stately beard, he tried to wow us with his macho chest hair - is it working for you?

Pop culture has firmly established this idea in our heads that sunglasses equals coolness. But cricketers are hell-bent on busting this myth:

Lakruwan Wanniarachchi / © AFP/Getty Images

Exhibit A: Angelo Mathews goes for a colour best left to the care of dusk skies and oil paintings.

Robert Cianflone / © Getty Images

Exhibit B: Usman Khawaja wants his shades to match his baggy green, presumably.

Julian Finney / © Getty Images

Exhibit C: Can you imagine Neo wearing these?

Jan Kruger / © Getty Images

Exhibit D: Mr Anderson: chewed up and spit out by the Matrix.

Prakash Singh / © AFP/Getty Images

Exhibit E: It's blindingly obvious how cool Ramesh Powar looks. You could spot him from outer space.

Matthew Lewis / © Getty Images

If there is a debate on bowling with or without sunglasses, which side are you on?

William West / © AFP/Getty Images

The generally sedate pace of cricket can deal with a bit of glass/plastic and metal perched on your nose, but as this photo shows, it's hazardous to try the same while playing football - Alastair Cook's sunglasses smash to bits after he heads a ball during football warm-ups.

Stu Forster / © Getty Images

A grumpy bowler can also be a hazard: umpire TM Samarasinghe nearly gets this head yanked off as an angry Darren Gough tries to relieve him of his sunglasses during a tour game in Kurunegala, 2001.

William West / © AFP/Getty Images

Perhaps a safer perch?

Jewel Samad / © AFP/Getty Images

The reflected glory of Mahela Jayawardene.

Indranil Mukherjee / © AFP/Getty Images

Virat Kohli looks inwards.

Julian Herbert / © IPL/Getty Images

Rajasthan Royals co-owner Shilpa Shetty gets starry-eyed.

Michael Steele / © Getty Images

As do Somerset players at a promotional event.

Nishi Narayanan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo