Need a management mechanism to prevent injuries: TA Sekhar

Thirumalai Sekhar played two Tests and four One-Day Internationals for India

By CricketCountry Staff


Chennai: Oct 4, 2011


Former India pace bowler Thirumalai Sekhar criticised the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for not establishing a pro-active injury prevention mechanism for cricketers, which could have avoided injuries to key Indian bowlers.


“There’s no formula for avoiding injuries, but you can take precautions. You’ve to have a system in place, an injury management mechanism, which Australia and England have. But it’s not in India,” Sekhar told Mail Today.


Sekhar said if the BCCI would have taken a few precautionary measures, less players would have got injured on the England tour.


“I think there’s no injury prevention or injury management programme in place at the National Cricket Academy ( NCA). Is there a programme for fast bowlers? What is it? Who’s running it? What are the credentials of the person who’s running the programme?” he asked.


“Bowlers going to the NCA after getting injured won’t help. They should look beyond the super stars. What do we have in store? We’ve to identify them and invest in them,” he said.


55-year-old Sekhar, who is presently working with Delhi Daredevils, said wrong people are in wrong jobs in BCCI-run NCA.


“If a batsman is going to coach a fast bowler, then I’ve my reservations. From a batsman’s point of view he can tell fast bowlers what to do, but can’t tell a fast bowler what he should be doing, what’s his problem, and how he should correct it. I’m not pointing a finger at anyone,” he said.


“We should have a complete muscular- skeletal screening of every bowler who’s playing for India and India under- 19 teams. Prepare a foundation so that bowlers could be regularly monitored through screening. A library should be developed through which in, say, five years we’d know who all visited the NCA for injuries or corrections etc.”


Sekhar has been a deputy to legendary Aussie speedster Dennis Lillee at the Chennai-based MRF Pace Foundation since last 20 years. He claimed that the BCCI doesn’t take advantage of the vast experience of coaches.


“There should be a high performance centre at the NCA and, at least, the opinion of the best of Indian coaches should be taken – whatever it’s worth – if you don’t want to engage them. In Australia, South Africa and England, whether it’s a school or a national level coach, there’s uniformity in coaching,” he pointed out.


“Like no two doctors agree, no two coaches agree in India,” he said, questioning the credentials of those who handle injured players.


Talking about the upcoming five-match ODI series in India, Sekhar said, “Anything could happen. England are on a high, but (a depleted) India still have a very good batting. The Indian conditions are different for the English. Sachin is not there, but Gautam, Dhoni, and Kohli are there.”


“Considering the Indian conditions and Indian batting, I’d say the chances are 50-50. England are not bringing James Anderson. They also have to come and get used to the conditions and by the time they do that two-three matches would have gone,” he said.


Sekhar hopes that all-rounder Irfan Pathan will soon find a place in the Indian team. “I m working on a few things with Irfan. He’s a very intelligent cricketer. He could be one of the genuine all-rounders India is looking for. He has age on his side. If he keeps himself fit, he should be in India reckoning in the next few months.”