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The Asia Cup 2022 With Hong Kong's Cricket Team

Our Senior Physio Anurag Ghildiyal had the opportunity to work as a Sports Physiotherapist with Hong Kong's Cricket Team for Asia Cup 2022. Let's hear his experience!

 

A Cricket Lover Since Young

Every Indian child is born with a small amount of cricket in their blood. We spend our childhood playing or watching the game. Even though I was actively involved in athletics since I was a child, I always had a strong inclination towards cricket in particular.

So, for someone who is so enthusiastic about cricket, this incredible opportunity was like a dream come true. 

In mid August 2022, the Asia Cup qualifier matches were held in Oman, where the Hong Kong team competed in all three must-win games against Singapore, Kuwait, and the UAE. Hong Kong was the only nation to qualify for the Asia Cup 2022 with a clean sweep, who then competed against test-playing nations, such as India and Pakistan in Dubai.

 

Before The Games

Our planning began early on when my colleague - Max and I, worked together to develop a thorough plan for rehabilitation and recovery that was unique to each player. Building a strong rapport with the players, coaches, and staff was the first step in the process. The closeness among the members of the Hong Kong squad was incredible to watch. I was quickly accepted into the close-knit family, which made it easier for me to take charge.

This phase helped us understand the players' needs and gave us some time to evaluate and address some of the problems before the event. Additionally, it aided in comprehending what the coaches want from their players. It was an ideal time to concentrate on the players' conditioning and strength.

 

Time To Train

Due to the extreme heat in Oman and Dubai, training sessions were purposely scheduled in the evening to protect the players from severe dehydration and heat stroke. We would start by strapping the participants and providing quick solutions to any problems they might have to ensure that they would be in shape and perform well during their training sessions. Before beginning cricket-specific training, we started with warm-up exercises and mobility work on the practice field.

After the training session, the entire squad performed static stretches followed by a 5-minutes ice bath. We would then ask the players if they had any problems upon returning from the practice field to the hotel, and based on their responses, we would schedule night time visits for therapy.

 

Getting Their Game On

On the match day, the players had a simple and uncomplicated schedule as there was no training session. Instead, we used our time in the morning to treat the injured players.

 
Recovery Is In Session

Once the match was over, we had a Recovery Day that included a pool session, a team meeting, and plentiful of resting time. We played five nail-biting games in three different cities during the entire tournament over a period of two weeks. The entire ride was phenomenal! All seventeen players and support staff gave their all to compete against some of the best teams in the world and emerged as heroes.

 

Common Injuries In Athletes

Even when athletes are in peak physical form and are specifically trained to stay fit and mobile, injuries can happen. Some of the common injuries that we came across during this tournament include:

  • Ankle Sprain
  • Hamstring Strain,
  • Adductor/Groin Strain (Inner Thigh)
  • Lower Back Pain
  • Achilles Tendonitis

Injuries in a high-intensity sporting event can be divided into two broad categories: Contact Injuries and Non-contact Injuries.

Contact Injuries

The majority of contact injuries are concussions when two players collide and injuries that result from making direct contact with the ball.

Non-contact Injuries

Non-contact injuries, such as hamstring pulls from rapid sprints or direction changes, single-leg landings that might cause ankle sprains can be avoided by correcting improper movement patterns and training the player to match the muscle demands of the game.

The injury patterns also differ according to the role of the players in the team. For example, a batter is more likely to have a different set of injuries compared to a blower. Therefore, rehab strategies differ for each player. 


Injury Prevention Tips

To help you avoid future injuries, here are some tips and tricks that you can follow: 

  1. Perform proper warm-up and cool-down routines

  2. Consistently incorporate strength training and stretching

  3. Hydrate adequately to maintain health and minimize cramps

  4. Have a pre-season health and wellness evaluation

 

A Dream Come True

Growing up, I've always imagined that being a physio involved rushing to the field to treat problems with a cold spray. But, I can assure you that working as a sports physio is far more than a glamorous job. Physiotherapists are always the last to go to bed and the first to rise. Being the team physio for an international team is a demanding job with a position of responsibility, but, I can say that nothing compares to the fulfilment and pleasure you have when you assist a player in reaching his or her peak performance.

It was a dream opportunity for me to meet with athletes from test-playing nations. I would especially like to thank Max, who was instrumental in this journey for me. Not only have I learnt a lot from him, but we also went through some of the most crucial decisions for the return team to play during important games. We supported each other, offered our ideas, knowledge, and insights on how to make the most of physiotherapy practise to support the team.

Working in sports, especially cricket, was something we were both passionate about, and it was an extreme joy to work with him as team physio. Last, but certainly not least, I would like to thank Prohealth Asia for giving me the opportunity to travel and follow my passion for working as a sports physiotherapist.

Author by Anurag Ghildiyal, Sep 14, 2022,

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