Looking after injured players

April 21, 2024

Apart from PCB which takes care of its top players, sports governing bodies abandon their athletes when they are injured

Looking after injured players


here is no specific mechanism in Pakistan to treat players' injuries. Most of the elite athletes have to treat their injuries on their own which is very tough for them due to financial issues.

Even the employed athletes cannot bear this burden. And when there is a need for surgery it then becomes more difficult.

I know so many top athletes who have been managing their treatment. Some spend years out of the international circuit because of the complication of their injuries and some are able to return to international action after some struggle.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) looks after injured cricketers, but in other sports disciplines it becomes a burden for the federations to treat their injured athletes as they don't have resources. In place of providing top treatment to their injured athletes they abandon them and seek for their replacement. It's a big issue.

What I think is that it is the responsibility of the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) to manage top treatment of the country's elite athletes in case of injuries.

They can develop this system within the PSB with ease. They can also ensure health insurance of all national champions and this process would help the top athletes to manage their quick treatment.

We don't realise that injuries to top athletes are dangerous for a country's performance in the international circuit. Sometimes we even play injured athletes in the international circuit and it's also not good for that particular athlete in the long run.

Provinces also have a huge budget and they can also ensure players' insurance and it can easily be done by major departments whose players mostly struggle when they get injured.

The think tanks can discuss this matter at a high forum as I see that we lose potentially glorious athletes because of injuries as they are not treated at the right time and not by the right doctors.

Mostly orthopedic issues come and the policy should be made accordingly. If we look around, so many of our elite athletes face elbow and knee issues and it has adversely affected their performances in the international circuit. Our authorities take risks to play them because of a dearth of top athletes in that particular weight or category. When we ask a federation about a particular athlete it says he is injured but very few federations look after their athletes. I know a few federations who have managed surgeries of their premier athletes but this is rare.

Athletics Federation of Pakistan (AFP) through the state assistance is managing knee treatment of its premier javelin thrower Arshad Nadeem as he has been sent to England recently. Our top athletes should be provided top medical facilities.

Another big issue is that our athletes don't exactly know what should be done during rehabilitation. Athletes should be properly educated about the rehabilitation process.

In foreign countries trainers and coaches know exactly how to rehabilitate but this is something we miss in Pakistan's sports culture because we don't educate our athletes properly. Only the presence of top trainers and physiotherapists in federations can make this possible.

A foreign-based athlete told me that he was suffering from injury and when he consulted a Pakistani doctor he advised tapping and he was surprised that the doctor did not know how to tap exactly and he had more knowledge about tapping.

Now as the new government has taken charge and Ahsan Iqbal is also looking after the IPC Ministry he should take the initiative so that our elite athletes' injuries treatment in future could be covered well.

We should not take sports so lightly. You cannot live without sports and a society cannot survive without sports. The IPC, PSB, national federations, provinces, departments and even Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) should take this article seriously and try to devise a specific plan so that athletes injuries could be treated well in time. The entire sports system should be made so knowledgeable so that in future no injured athlete could play unless he or she recovers well as playing in injuries is too dangerous for an athlete.


Looking after injured players