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NEWS BYTE PORVORIM: Goa Cricket Association's physio Dr Anushree Desai, who is in charge of the women's setup, is excited about the overall atmosphere that is conducive to growth of women's cricket. Here she is expressing her views on the ongoing pre-season training and girls getting equal opportunities so that being a cricketer becomes a prestigious career path. What are your pre-season training plans for Goa women's cricket talent pool? AD: As we know these are testing times for all of us and hence our pre-season training programme has started virtually. Initially, under the guidance of director of coaching Prakash Mayenkar sir, we conducted fitness test online to get an idea where the players stand. As the main concept behind pre-season training is to work on overall strength, endurance and mobility so that a player can be more fit for the tournament and can give his/her 100 percent by minimising the risk of injuries. Along with this, we have also made some individualised programmes to focus on a particular group of muscles based on individual requirements. The endurance programme for players will start once we get access to ground or gym in GCA. What kind of challenges does a physio generally relish when the pre-season work begins? AD: Pre-season always starts with a thorough musculoskeletal assesment for a physio. We need to have a complete data of a player with the record of all his/her past injuries and limitations if any. So the main focus is to collect all the data which is then analysed and the player is given a certain set of rehab exercises to overcome the limitations which hinders them from giving their 100 percent on field. The few players recovering from surgeries or any major injuries during the season are monitored continuously till they are fit to play. Now in the COVID times, the added responsibility is to have a data of vitals like spo2 and temperature of all the players and also to pay close attention to the players who have recovered from COVID. How are the girls adapting to COVID situation and what's the kind of progress they are making respectively in fitness and/ or rehab? AD: The girls are adapting really well. I would like to thank Prakash sir for starting up with online fitness regime that is keeping them active and fit even in the pandemic where many have no access to gym, ground or any other training equipments. Along with the trainer, we have set a programme which is updated accordingly. They are asked to send the video of them while performing certain exercise to monitor the progress. We also maintain a record of fitness tests that we conduct and then compare them after a specific time to measure the progress of players on individual basis. How has your overall experience been as a Physio at GCA? AD: It has been great working at GCA. Everyone is co-operative - very positive and encouraging atmosphere overall. I am grateful for providing me with the opportunity to attend conferences at NCA. Looking forward to learn many more things and will always strive to give my best. Women's cricket will grow in Goa if the awareness reaches in every nook and corner of the state. What would you advise the raw talents, who are yet to be spotted or are very young to know about competitive action? AD: As we see in news or social media nowadays, women’s cricket is also pacing up and there is a considerable amount of audience attracted towards it along with men's cricket. At GCA, I have seen they give equal importance to women’s cricket. I have also seen many parents in Goa encouraging their daughters to pursue their passion in cricket. So I would only like to bring to the notice that now being a cricketer is a profession like becoming a doctor or engineer. There is group of specialised staff working on them to make them professional. So, if you really have a zeal towards cricket, then get yourself trained.