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Cricket Injury Facilities - Australian Cricket Team Injuries on Tour

0333 320 8404
Cricket Injuries on Tour with the Australian Cricket Team

Cricket Injury Facilities

Did you have a network of consultants and imaging facilities in India and did you have to use them much during the tour?

"Although I’ve given India some stick for having poor quality sports medicine, it is worth mentioning that the availability of cheap medications and cheap MRI scanning leaves countries like Australia and the UK behind. You can get a good 1.5 Tesla MRI scan very easily and usually for under 100 pounds. In fact if you wanted to haggle, you could probably get the scanner people pay you for the privilege of having an elite player allow them to scan his body! Of course, the radiologist reading the scan might be a specialist in breast cancer images rather than musculoskeletal radiology, so it is good if you are a sports physician and can interpret the MRIs yourself! At least the machine quality and availability is good. The value for money on the drug side is ridiculous. I bought quite a lot of medications over with me but we did run out of antibiotics. At one hotel I got the concierge to order me another pack of antibiotics and he charged my room what was then converted back to about 30 cents in Aussie dollars. I must have appeared to raise my eyebrows at the price and he sheepishly apologised – “sorry Sir, the hotel has to put on quite a substantial markup for the service of going out to the pharmacy”. I then went out to find out that most packs of medications were about 10 cents in the local pharmacy and that prescriptions were ‘optional’. Obviously when buying medications in India you have to consider the lesser degree of regulation of the drug industry, but the amazing price differential made me think that Western drug companies must love using safety as an excuse to lessen competition and to gouge the market (that’s gouge not gauge!).

"There appear to be a few good orthopaedic surgeons in India with sports medicine expertise, although at more than half the venues the doctors on duty were from completely unrelated specialties. I met Mandeep Dhillon in Chandigarh and Parag Munshi in Mumbai who both are high quality and Anant Joshi in Mumbai also has a very good name. Andrew Wallace, the English upper limb surgeon, also was visiting Mumbai at the time we were there. He is pretty close to the Indian team and probably has the keys to the entire country having successfully operated on Sachin Tendulkar.

"I think the two competitions going on in India at the moment (Indian Premier League and Indian Cricket League) will lead to a much better network of medical specialists being developed. The ICL (Indian Cricket League, which is the rebel competition and which started before and in fact probably led to the formation of the IPL) was well advised to import most of their physiotherapists from countries like Australia, England and South Africa, to ensure a high quality of service. The IPL has followed suit and there are now good quality Western physios with most teams. The physios collectively will, in time, be able to uncover and discern which medicos are worth using. Unfortunately the default position in India has to be that you treat doctors with some suspicion. One of the most endearing personality traits of the Indians is that they are so obliging, but this extends to doctors offering to provide services in areas that they have no expertise in whatsoever, so you need to be careful! There will be plentiful opportunities for Western sports medicine doctors and physios to work in India over the next few years as their cricket infrastructure is obviously taking off and they will pay good money to attract quality international staff. A progressive company like Pure Sports Medicine, based in London, would probably also see a business opportunity in a city like Mumbai if they could work out how to get the professional staff over there. It is a different world to what we are used to in countries like England and Australia, but it is certainly not backwards across the board. The hotels, food, service, IT and marketing sectors are all very good in India. In some ways they are obviously becoming a world superpower and in the cricket landscape, it is hard to see how a country like New Zealand is going to have the financial resources to compete on the international scene. They may provide a lot of cricket manpower (players and even doctors and physios) but a lot of their work will gravitate to India."

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