Allrounder Manan Sharma, who was part of India’s under-19 team that played the World Cup in New Zealand, could not make the journey home with the rest of the team on Friday. Manan, who suffered a broken thumb during India's penultimate match of the tournament, against England, had his hand in a cast, and the airline had apprehensions about allowing him to board with the cast intact.
In long flights, like the 10-and-a-half hour Christchurch-Singapore journey, the routine practice is to split the cast, allowing some leeway for swelling that occurs due to water retention.
When the team was due to board the aircraft, this was pointed out and there was insufficient time for the cast to be modified at the airport's medical facility. As a result, ICC staff accompanied Manan back to the city, and the cast was attended to. Manan, son of former Ranji stalwart Ajay Sharma, will now return home on Saturday.
Speaking to the Hindustan Times, the PR Manager-India, Singapore Airlines, Deepa Sridhar said, “Singapore Airlines keeps the safety and well-being of its passengers in highest regard. We wanted to ensure that Manan Sharma, is not under any kind of discomfort during his flight back to India and, with the clear objective of his concern and safety, he was advised proper dressing before boarding the flight. He will be flying back to India with us tomorrow.”
Experts said that Manan should have informed the doctor who put the cast that he had to travel by air.
“The limb swells up because of high pressure inside the aircraft. For air travel, people should inform the doctor and get the cast bivalved — split into two longitudinally — and then taped together so that it can accommodate the swelling, should it occur," said Dr Yash Gulati, orthopaedic surgeon, Apollo Hospitals.
"Limb injuries are especially vulnerable because the arms and legs have to be kept raised, which is not always possible in a flight,” he said.