Sri Lankan researchers and physio attend seminar in UK

By Bipin Dani

Three Sri Lankans-now based in Australia and England-gave a very impressive inputs and presentations at the Cricket Science and Medicine conference held in Loughborough, last week.

Dr. Prasanna Gamage, Ms. Nirmala Perera and Dulan Kodikara
Dr. Prasanna Gamage, Ms. Nirmala Perera and Dulan Kodikara

Prasanna Gamage, who has been studying Ph.D with the Australian Centre for Research into Injury on Sports and its Prevention (ACRISP) and Federation University Australia, presented three research studies.

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Speaking exclusively over telephone from Melbourne, he said, “the oral presentation was related to heat stress during cricket play in Indian subcontinent region and how cricketers exposed to different external heat illness risks during Test match play. For this, we have taken the Australian national cricket team during their 2016 Sri Lankan test tour”.

“One of these studies was reviewing current research on injury epidemiology data among junior cricketers internationally. This review summarised some important findings of currently available literature. The second poster was on a large scale nationwide study, which we have conducted among Sri Lankan school cricketers during the 2016 major school cricket tournament”, he added.

Gamage has taken this project to Sri Lanka (JECS-Sri Lanka) and conducted several research studies to identify injuries and injury risks among Sri Lankan junior cricketer and thereby implement appropriate preventive measures.

Dulan Kodikara, who is a sports physiotherapist at Cricket Victoria Academy gave his presentation on safety of players and umpires on the field of play.

Speaking exclusively, he said, “cricket is generally considered a safe and low risk sport, particularly in comparison to contact sports such as rugby, Australian rules Football and ice hockey. However, there have been several traumatic and fatal head related injuries in cricket recently and the tragic death of  an Australian  Test cricketer in 2014 challenged the perception of whether cricket is a safe sport”.

“It is believed that the increased exposure due to increased number of tournaments, increased intensity of the game with the introduction of twenty-twenty cricket tournaments, high bowling speeds, improved bat design and bat speeds contribute to head, neck, facial injuries in cricket”. 

Dulan’s PhD research focuses on testing the knowledge of cricket participants (including coaches, support staff and umpires) on the extent and use of protective helmets in cricket, Their knowledge and awareness on the current concussion guidelines in cricket, injury risk perception in relation to head, neck and facial injuries in cricket.

“A thorough understanding  of these aspects  will be vital to inform stakeholders of the need to implement risk minimisation strategies to make cricket a safe sport for all”, he added further.

Dr. Nirmala Perera (now residing in England) gave her inputs on injury to women cricketers.

The seminar is held every four years at the venue where Cricket World Cup is held.

Dr. Debashish Chaudhary, attended the seminar from Bangladesh. He is Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) physician.

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