London: The adidas Eyewear claim that light-stabilising tinted lenses worn by several leading England players could improve their ability to catch the ball by as much as 28 per cent, compared with standard sunglasses.
Eight England players, including captain Andrew Strauss and fast bowler James Anderson, wear such lenses in the field, and the trend in day/night matches, when fielders are often looking into the setting sun, is a further reason for using them.
The research, funded jointly by the ECB and adidas, has been conducted over the past two years, The Times reports.
“Cricket is probably the most visually demanding of sports. Most players were feeling tired and were getting headaches. We found sunglasses to be the easiest way of shaping sensory information, 82 per cent of which comes from the visual system," Nick Dash, the ECB"s consultant optometrist, said.
Light-stabilising lenses reduce the amount of glare and enhance red light; hence visibility is accentuated as the background colours of brickwork and spectators" clothing are subdued and the ball becomes easier to spot, the paper reports.
Catching tests conducted with young England cricketers revealed an improvement in performance. Conventional grey sunglasses were found to be too dark by all players in bright conditions, whereas bright orange tinted lenses were more effective at dusk, especially when a white ball was used, it adds.
Andy Flower, the new England coach, is intent on improving the team"s fielding and has backed the use of the same by his players.
The sunglasses are for sale in shops for about 135 pounds a pair, the paper reports.