What is Andrew Leipus doing now?
After ending his stint with the Indian team in 2005, the Australian completed his masters in musculoskeletology. He is currently doing a couple of part-time jobs as well as working with the Kolkata IPL team. Following are excerpts from a chat with HT:
What keeps you busy these days apart from KKR?
I am the second physio with the South Australian Cricket Association (SACA). It’s not a full-time job and this gives me the freedom to work with an IPL team. With SACA, I mainly work with the Second XI and look after the rehabilitation of injured first team players.
You’ve been involved with Indian cricket since 1999. What changes do you see in the attitude of the players regarding fitness?
It has been really rewarding to come back and see players more aware about their physical well-being and diet, a lot more accountable. They now know the need to pass fitness tests.
Has the cricket set-up in the country evolved too?
There’s been a gradual change. Teams at the first-class level have physios now, but the manner in which their qualification is scanned is questionable. The next step up is international cricket. If you have monkeys looking after these players, there will be problems.
Top cricketers now play for state, national and IPL sides. What do you think about the need for knowledge transfer among different support groups who monitor players in various teams?
There is a healthy level of communication among physios around the world. It’s a fairly closed group and as long as you are not asking about specific strengths and weaknesses of teams, physios are happy to pass around information about individual players. However, it’s important for the physio to have the right qualifications.
The IPL schedule gives rise to the concern that it takes too much out of the players. How can this imbalance be rectified?
I think the answer is not known yet. That's why we have camps like these (the KKR medical and fitness camp in Kolkata) to assess the fitness of players. We talk to them, find out how they are feeling.