Is it high time to omit uneven pitches, heavy balls and introduce medical facilities in local cricket?

Mohsin Kamal

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How often do you hear about occurance of injuries in sports? Yes, it happens regularly, even at the highest level. How many of them are life-threatening though? Only a few, right?

No doubt, every sports comes up with its own kind of risks, however, isn’t the proper infrastructure a must at the same time? Now, the important question is do we have those basic facilities available in Kashmir?

Let’s take other games aside for a minute and talk about cricket, considering it’s the most popular sport here. Firstly, in what sort of grounds do we play at? Most of them are rough, located at a far-flung area and most importantly, without any basic facilities. Secondly, the tracks used are just ‘insane’, to say the least. A matt is layed on a surface, which mostly is uneven, not even rolled or made good enough to play.

However, our love for the game or may be lack of knowledge make us take this risk. But can it be injury prone or even life-threatening? Ask any cricketer who has played on a quality wicket. They will 90 out of 100 times deny playing on these wickets.

But do the ones who are at the helm even care? An U-19 cricketer died yesterday after being hit by a bouncer in a district-level tournament organised by Youth Services and Sports. What will happen next? Yes, there will be condolences, sympathies with family, some compensation may be. What else? Is that it? Will there be any enquiry about why this sort of incident happened?

No, they might conclude at, “Emis ous Khudayan ethey peth mout leikmut (GOD had planned his death in this manner). By this logic, if I go and kill someone, people should take that this is how God had planned the death of person and I should be given a free hand. Isn’t it?

Was the surface where this incident happened an even one? Was that rolled before the match? Was the quality of the matting taken in the consideration since it was a tournament held by major sporting body? Was there any medical facility available at the ground? Was the weight of ball standard enough? Who will answer these questions?

Probably, no one. The chapter will be closed after 4 days and things will go as they were. But don’t we as sports enthusiasts need to come forward and make sure basic facilities are availed to players? There is dire need of getting rid of these uneven pitches and heavy balls. According to standard cricket rules, a cricket ball should weigh between 159.9 to 163 grams. Have we ever checked that?

Moreover, what about the medical facilities? Do we even have a first aid kit available during local events? Forget local, there isn’t any such thing even in top-level cricket here. It’s high time for sports fraternity to wake up before we lose more budding sportspersons.