December 28, 2007

Siddhartha Vaidyanathan on India in Australia 2007-08

Making sunglasses fashionable

Siddhartha Vaidyanathan
England Masters v Australia Masters, Trent Bridge Nottingham 1 July 2001
 © ESPNcricinfo Ltd
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If you want to hear something interesting, try and find Dean Jones. We know about him sweating and vomiting during his epic double-hundred in Madras in 1986 but there’s more to Deano apart from gritty centuries and the odd commentary gaffe.

Did you know Jones was one of the first Australian cricketers to wear sunglasses? “I first wore it in 1988,” Jones said. “I had been playing with them a little bit. I remember Allan Border said, ‘practise with them before using them’.”

In those days cricketers had to buy their own shades. “I remember wearing an Oakley but I wasn’t endorsing them. I wore it first in Perth where there was a good wind, blue skies, and a white ball and AB said, ‘Make sure you catch the first one. Otherwise you’re in trouble.’

“And I did catch the first one, then I took a specy [spectacular catch] diving on the boundary, then I copped one on the boundary and took two more. And I saw all the fielders wearing sunglasses. I didn’t really understand marketing then but when I went back home, I saw a group of kids playing with sunglasses. It zapped me a bit.”

There was one more first for Deano - “I was one of the first to wear an extra sweatband on the gloves” – and one each for Ian Healy and Steve Waugh too. “Healy got special fibre glass put in the bottom of his wicketkeeping gloves and Steve used bats with oval-shaped handles at the bottom of the grip. It helped for your hands to fit in, unlike the normal cylinder type equipment.”

Siddhartha Vaidyanathan is a former assistant editor at Cricinfo

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