NCA’s injury-prevention and rehab wing to be shifted here in June

Cricketers with suspect bowling actions may not have to travel all the way to the University of Western Australia to undergo corrective measures for suspect bowling actions.

The ICC is on the brink of signing an agreement with the Sports Medicine Centre of the Sri Ramachandra Medical Sciences (SRMC) hospital here. A team from the ICC will visit the sprawling 1.6 lakh square feet, state-of-the-art facility here in the second week on June.

While Australia will remain an alternative, bowlers from the sub-continent and other Asian countries, are likely find it more convenient to travel to Chennai. Bowlers from some other nations such as South Africa, who breach the 15-degree flexion rule, might also prefer to journey to the Rs.45 crore centre here as well.

SRMC has already signed an MoU with the University of Cape Town to benefit from the latest technology. From the third week of June, the injury prevention and rehabilitation wing of the National Cricket Academy will be shifted here.

For Prof. S. Arumugam, Head of Department, Arthroscopy and Sports Medicine, SRMC, the completion of the project was the culmination of a dream.

“We always wanted to come up with a centre like this for sports. Right now there is more focus on cricket since it is the most popular sport in the country but the facility has features that could be used by sportsmen from other sports as well,” he said to The Hindu on Friday.

Sandile Sibeko from Cape Town is the high-performance manager.

The ambience drips cricket, with images of legendary cricketers from Gary Sobers to Ian Botham, from Sunil Gavaskar to Sachin Tendulkar and from Erapalli Prasanna to Shane Warne.

Former India junior and Kerala Ranji cricketer J. K. Mahendra, who has done up the place, will shortly come up with a cricket museum in the five-floor complex.

The bio-mechanics wing is the obvious highlight. Here a bowler’s action is assessed from every angle with a combination of retro-reflective sensors on the cricketer’s body, 3-D cameras with infra-red capability; the combination breaks the images of the body into different segments and feeds them into a computer. The Force Plate in the area the bowler delivers from measures the pressure exerted. The technology comes in handy for injury prevention and rehabilitation too.

The building bears the BCCI logo, and there is a separate gym is dedicated to cricketers. There are also high-altitude chambers where the athlete can simulate the reduced oxygen levels prevailing at higher altitudes, isokinetic machines that shows muscle deficit, treadmills with VO2 analysers that display lung capacity and gauges anaerobic threshold.

Around the high-performance gym, there is a 200m indoor track, with material imported from Germany. A hydro-therapy pool is also available for the athletes.

Come June, and this centre will be buzzing with activity.

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