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The fast bowler will be the biggest beneficiary of this initiative of the National Cricket Academy (NCA). The NCA recently held a web conference of all physicians from across the country, in which they discussed the match data collected by physiotherapists for the last Ranji Trophy season. The new ‘Return to Play’ (RTP) procedures were discussed in detail.
“The main objective of this initiative is injury surveillance. Players will have more trust and confidence in our domestic physicians. It is a process that will definitely give us results in the future, ”a senior team-physiotherapist from the state, who told TONI.
The data will help the management of the state team to decide how many matches a fast bowler can perform at the optimum level.
He said, ‘Cricket is a lot at the domestic level. Apart from the Ranji Trophy, there are one-day and T20 tournaments apart from IPL. Hence the workload needs to be managed properly. For example, if a fast bowler had to bowl a lot in the previous match, he could bowl less in the nets before the next match.
He said, “States will also have to think about having proper bench strength to preserve talented batsmen in fast bowlers. If it is mismanagement, then we can lose a good talent. By the time a fast bowler reaches the highest level, he must have an optimal fitness level. The data will also help in identifying patterns of injury, ”he said.
It all started last year when physicians from each state association in every category from under-16s to seniors were asked to upload various data related to the players.
“The data will be useful for RTP testing. This will help determine when a player should return after an injury. Physicians follow various methods regarding this, which increases the chances of recurrence of injury, ”he said.
Until now, injury research in cricket was mostly from Australia and England.
“Because the NCA does not have data on their players. However, foreign players have different body types, endurance and genes. Suppose that in case of lower limb injury, if an Australian player hops at a certain level, he is declared fit to play. But for Indians, this level may vary. Indian players will not have to achieve that level and play without repetition.
Data were collected for both fit and injured players. Now, NCA has baseline data for players.
“With the baseline data, the NCA will have common mechanisms and some standards that will determine when the player will return. It will bring in uniformity. The NCA decided the standard gold standard ‘method, which has certain specified standards where players are required to achieve certain levels. They need to pass a certain test, ”he said.
There were suggestions about tele-medicine, especially during lockdown.
“If a physio is finding it difficult to assess or diagnose a player, he can take an appointment and guide the NCA through teleconferencing,” the physio said.
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