I wonder why no one thought of it before: using the trouser as more than just a piece of cloth to protect one’s modesty. The kiwis have hit on it, high-tech bowlers' trousers, specially designed to put shine on the ball, and Dipak Patel springs the second surprise of his life. (The first, lest you start thinking the 1992 World Cup, is having managed to have played at the apex level in the first place.)
The more interesting mention, as published in this cricinfo story is the introduction of the IonX BaseLayer performance underwear which is claimed to improve performance by 2.7%. The performance of the balls, I suppose.
From a cricketing perspective, the more sobering sound byte in the story comes from Patel himself.
"When I came into cricket I was surprised to find there are no regulations about what materials you can and can't use."
The game seems to be setting itself for controversy, considering the number of gaps it offers for misinterpretation. Not so long ago, there was an MCC debate and decision on the use of graphite in cricket bats. And quite some time back, a certain famous personage tried an aluminium bat, didn’t he?
So what is the next performance-enhancing accessory likely to be? A Velcro surface on wicket-keeping gloves perhaps? (Did I hear Kamran Akmal nod enthusiastically?)Corrigendum published 06-June-08: The Patel responsible for this performance gear innovation is Dipal Patel and not Dipak Patel. Apologies for the mistake.