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Meet Anuja Dalvi Pandit, The Only Woman Physiotherapist For Indian Cricket Team

  • IWB Post
  •  February 27, 2019

With an internationally accepted degree from the University of South Australia, Anuja Dalvia Pandit is the only Indian woman working as a physiotherapist for the cricket team. Married to Niranjan Pandit, Anuja owns two centres in Mumbai named LiveActive Physiotherapy & Sports Injury Clinic where she attends to athletes from a number of sports, ranging from badminton, shooting, kabaddi, gymnastics, and track and field apart from cricket.

For Anuja, getting to know her players is the most crucial part of her job as it helps her understand their psychology better. She joined Mumbai cricket association (MCA) in 2009 and was soon noticed by the administrators and was sent from MCA to attend the Level 1 Physio program at NCA, Bangalore, in 2010.

After her successful stint with Indian Cricket, Anuja was appointed by the Bangladesh Board for their women’s team as their physiotherapist last year.

Talking about her role in keeping the athletes in their best form, Anuja shared, “I strongly believe in individualization of assessments and treatments as we are dealing with human beings and not machines. I rely a lot on players’ feedback and opinions as it makes my strategies more effective. Although whenever needed I do try to explain and change their unhelpful or unscientific opinions.”

As injuries are a part and parcel of the game, Anuja spoke about the injuries common among cricketers, especially the ones related to women. “There are few similar issues which can be found across different sports like ACL injuries, or injuries related to hypermobility in females, issues related to hormonal cycles and related spectrum etc. Body image disorders, the stereotype of the female body in the community and family and related diet issues was a big problem in the past but is definitely changing with modern times.

But with the game getting more and more competitive and girls getting fitter and more aggressive in the style of play I can say that I have started seeing similar patterns of injuries in male and female cricket players e.g stress reactions and stress fractures in the spine and lower body, posterior ankle impingement with increased pace in bowling. Increased number of games in domestic and international cricket is also an important factor.”

While we do see male cricketers endorsing strict fitness regimes, Anuja also spoke about women cricketers taking their health and fitness more seriously than before. “Girls are getting more professional; they are taking more efforts in improving their skill and fitness levels. Especially the 2017 World Cup has shown us all that the media and fans are eager to take Women’s cricket to the next level. Recent Asia cup win by Bangladesh has changed the whole mathematics of Women’s cricket in the subcontinent.”

As Physio has “become an inevitable part of sporting teams” Anuja suggests, “I would like to request the physio community to get more global in their approach to clients and athletes. Be more accountable and adapt to modern ways of treatments and follow better documentation systems. Sports Physio services are much beyond applying ice, giving rubs and unnecessary rests to players. Research in sports is majorly lacking in our country and all the sectors need to promote it.”

“One advice to young physio is that try to make your Musculoskeletal base much stronger before entering the field of Sports Physiotherapy. Update yourself, follow your mentors, try to always stay humble and keep learning; that’s an essence for a successful career. I strongly suggest to fellow physios to explore the educational world abroad as they are undoubtedly much more advanced when it comes to sports sciences,” she added.

H/T: Female Cricket

(Physiotherapist Anuja Dalvi Pandit on the right in the cover image)

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