CHENNAI: First things first. Kudos to the BCCI for tying up with Sri Ramachandra Medical College University and coming up a with an unique testing centre. It is the only ICC-accredited testing centre in Asia and was the second to get the nod for testing suspect bowling actions in 2014. Its unique features extend beyond these and it is the only centre in the world where a batsman and a bowler can be tested bio-mechanically at the same point in time.
The campus, made up of state of the art facility, is sure to leave people spellbound. Equipped with modern equipment and sports scientists, it is the first of its kind in the country to enhance the performance level of not just cricketers, but also athletes. The BCCI, impressed with the facility and concept, made the first move by shifting the National Cricket Acadmey’s rehab centre here in 2014. The bowling action testing centre has so far tested Al Amin (Bangladesh), Sachitra Senanayke (Sri Lanka) and Mohammad Hafeez (Pakistan). The first two have been cleared to bowl again.
The SRMC conceived the idea of sports testing centre thanks to Dr S Arumugam, who is Head of the Department, and an orthopaedic surgeon. “We started this with the help of the Cape Town University, which is an expert in the field of sports. We brought in renowned sports scientists and set up a concept where an athlete can enhance his performance. We have bio-mechanics, bar-mechanics, pressure plates, nutrition. We are working on how to keep an athlete injury free,” Arumugam told TNIE.
Cricket is a simple game they say. But the facilities around here make you wonder how it is keeping pace with sports medicine. So good are the facilities that the ICC gave its clearance straightaway. “This sports centre idea was given to us by N Srinivasan and we took it from there. And now we have 20 Vicon cameras, which is the best in motion capture, and infra-red cameras to test cricketers. Our testing (bowling action) is much more accurate because we use plastic sheets to get the skin movement accurately,” he said.
The BCCI is planning to use the facilities in better ways. Board secretary Sanjay Patel, who inspected the centre before the tie-up, said the board has a long-term plan. “Who thought we would come up with a facility like this in India! Our players need not fly abroad for injuries and all that because of this. They are also doing research on batting and injury prevention and it is going to be tabled during the World Cup. In modern day cricket, sports medicine has a lot to offer and that’s what we are going to do. We want even our state bodies to benefit from this,” Patel said.