September 18, 2012

Remember the man in the Panama hat?

Sidharth Monga

Cricket is not quite the US Open when it comes to fashion statements, but it has had its share of quirky helmets, head bands and occasional pinks. In New Zealand Herald, Jeremy Wells pays tribute to that stylist Martin Crowe's Panama hat and wonders why it wasn't formally embraced by New Zealand Cricket as a compulsory non-helmet option.

Looking back, I realise Crowe's penchant for obtuse ornamentation was another thing that set him apart from his peers. He was the first player to saw the top bar of his helmet grill off to aid vision (a move copied by many schoolboy cricketers) and was an early adopter of new-age sweat absorption technology - embracing Mark Knopfler-style towelling headbands years before the first drop of Jack Daniel's No 7 had passed through Jesse Ryder's lips. And, of course, the piece de resistance - the Panama hat in two tone beige and white.

As a fashion statement it was bold, but as a functional piece of cricketing headwear it was without equal. The Panama hat's brim provided superior shade - while its lightweight mesh construction made for greater air circulation in hot temperatures

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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