Much-delayed BCCI timeline indicates IPL injured Wriddhiman Saha’s career
Wriddhiman Saha had suffered an upper left hamstring tendon injury during training on January 11, two days before the second Test in Centurion. The timeline says Saha reported to the National Cricket Academy (NCA) on January 29, 18 days after he was injured.cricket Updated: Jul 21, 2018 21:09 IST
Wriddhiman Saha will fly to England later this month or the first week of August not to join the India squad for the Test series but for surgery on his right shoulder. After withholding information on the exact nature and extent of his injury for a considerable period, an under-pressure BCCI uploaded a timeline of Saha’s injury in its website on Saturday instead of the conventional method of a press release. In an effort to get BCCI’s story straight, the elaborate timeline has instead thrown up a few more questions.
Let’s take it from the top. According to the media release sent on January 16, Saha had suffered an upper left hamstring tendon injury during training on January 11, two days before the second Test in Centurion. The timeline says Saha reported to the National Cricket Academy (NCA) on January 29, 18 days after he was injured.
If he was already ruled out of the series, why didn’t the BCCI medical team expedite Saha’s rehab process? The BCCI says that Saha’s shoulder problem was diagnosed only after he joined the NCA and an MRI revealed a labral tear. Saha underwent rehab after being administered an ‘ultrasound guided injection’ but the BCCI bulletin doesn’t mention what kind of injection it was.
Sloppy medical team
At no time during this period did the BCCI made it public that Saha had an additional and potentially more threatening injury. The timeline says Saha had fully recovered from his hamstring and shoulder injuries and discharged from the NCA on March 19 but this too wasn’t made public. The following events put the BCCI medical team’s role under scanner.
Saha jarred his joint after he fell twice during an IPL match on May 7. “On the following day he complained of pain and stiffness in the shoulder to his IPL physiotherapist. Under the supervision of his IPL physiotherapist, he was taken to a doctor in Delhi and a second ultrasound guided injection was done as per advice of the doctor,” reads the BCCI timeline.
Several questions can be raised here. Was the BCCI medical team informed of Saha’s latest injury? If they were updated, how come Saha found a place in the squad for the one-off Test against Afghanistan that was announced next evening (May 8)? Don’t the selectors get a medical report on each player before deciding the squad?
IPL before India?
The timeline says Saha underwent rehabilitation under the care of his franchise (Sunrisers Hyderabad) and was rested for five matches. It also says that only after Saha had sought a review from NCA head physiotherapist Ashish Kaushik was it ascertained that the status of his shoulder hadn’t changed since ‘late January/February’.
How then was the franchise medical team allowed to give Saha the go-ahead to play the IPL match on May 25? Isn’t it the BCCI’s priority to interfere when one of their specialists is carrying an injury during the IPL, thereby risking aggravation?
Had he not been allowed to play that match, Saha wouldn’t have injured his thumb which in turn was highlighted as the cause behind his exclusion from the Test squad for Afghanistan. The timeline mentions his thumb had healed by July 2 but an MRI on July 4 revealed that ‘Saha’s labral tear had worsened as compared to his previous scan’. Saha was declared unfit on July 13 after a steroid injection failed to improve his status but this update was again not revealed.
The BCCI didn’t even mention Saha’s injury status on July 18 when they announced the squad for the first three Tests in England. More puzzling is chief selector MSK Prasad going on record that Saha’s thumb hadn’t healed, a day after the squad was announced. Either he is kept out of the loop between the team management and the NCA or he has been misinformed. The mystery only deepens.
First Published: Jul 21, 2018 19:41 IST