Guide to Sports Medicine Cricket Injuries

Hamstring strain

Causes of hamstring strains

Hamstring strains can be caused by a number of different activities in cricket; these include fast bowling, fielding and running between the wickets. Commonly, hamstring strains are caused by a sudden burst of movement or a quick change of direction. Cricketers are prone to hamstring strains because they may be required to sprint after a long period of standing relatively still. Bowlers may suffer from strains as a result of overuse, as the bowling action puts considerable pressure on the hamstrings and knees.

Symptoms of a hamstring strain

Serious strains usually involve an athlete pulling up suddenly; they will often be in a lot of pain. Minor strains may not reveal any symptoms until after the exercise session has finished. Other symptoms include swelling, bruising and a restricted range of movement.

Treatment for a hamstring strain

Minor strains will usually be treated with ice and anti-inflammatory medication; pain relief may also be prescribed. The affected leg should be rested until the injury has healed. More severe strains may take several weeks to heal and the athlete may have to undergo surgery if the muscle has been torn; following surgery crutches will usually be used to avoid the muscle bearing weight.

Preventing hamstring strains

Undertaking thorough warm-up and cool down sessions will reduce the risk of injury; in cricket, where a match can be played for hours at a time, it is important to keep the muscles warm and the joints loose; this can be achieved by doing exercises throughout the game. Resting between activities will also reduce the risk of injury; bowlers should have a break after a certain number of overs, for example


Top 10 Travel Destinations in Nepal

Top 10 Travel Destinations in Nepal

Nepal is a country of beautiful scenic landscapes with an abundance of both natural and cultural heritage. Although being a small landlocked country right in between two Asian giants China and India, Nepal has only been able to prosper so much economically or even infrastructure wise in all these years and still remains quite underdeveloped compared to its neighbors due to the fact that it hasn’t really gained any political stability whatsoever, even after so many years have passed since the dismissal of the Monarchs from the country in 2008. With so much culture and tradition poured into one small piece of land, most tourists that come here are attracted by the various forms of art and cultures that Nepal has to offer. Over a 100 different castes and societies live peacefully among each other within the boundaries of this small piece of heaven.  ‘’Unity in diversity,’’ is the closest one could come to while defining Nepal and its people, if they had to do it using a single phrase.

Now, that it’s been said, coming back to our topic – tourism industry in Nepal has always shown quite the potential needed to compete with or become a tourist-hub like Switzerland; with three of the highest mountains in the world and various other peaks at stray, several hundred rivers all suitable for adventure rafting, ideal safari and wildlife areas and so much more to explore should certainly make Nepal the most attractive destination for adventure tourism, shouldn’t it?  Well, the government of the country thinks otherwise and seems as if they would rather be overtly consumed with their self-empowerment-schemes than actually caring about the country’s heritage or even the future at the least.

Anyways, here we have ten of the most amazing places you could travel to while you’re in, or planning to visit Nepal. However, being a Nepali myself I have selected the places on my own discretion so, most of the other popular places to visit in Nepal, especially ones that are advertised a lot on other sites may not be enlisted below… so now… here we have ten of the most life-defining travel destinations in Nepal.

 10. Tilicho Lake

Tilicho lake Nepal

It is one of the highest lakes in the world at an altitude of almost 5,000 meters located in the Annapurna range of the Himalayas in Manang district of Nepal. Anyone attempting to do the Annapurna Circuit route usually cross these watersheds between Manang and Kali Gandaki valleys above the 5,000 meters high Thorong La pass. Various lodges have been built between Manang and the Lake, but there aren’t any accommodation sites or even teahouses past the Tilicho Base Camp lodge. Tilicho Lake and the trek as a whole is a very revitalizing experience, yet a very demanding and an extremely adventurous terrain, not meant for everyone, only the adventure junkies so-to-say.

9. Annapurna Base Camp (ABC)

annapurna base camp travel destination in Nepal

With terraced rice paddies, luscious rhododendron forests, and high altitude landscapes along with the Annapurna range in view most of the times, Annapurna Base Camp trek is certainly one of the most popular treks in the Annapurna region. It combines so many different landscapes and perhaps is the only trek which brings you closer to the base of 7,000-8,000 m high peaks in such a short duration of time. The trek is almost 7 to 11 days long, depending on the trekker’s itinerary and the length of walking days. ABC can be trekked almost any time of the year; however in the winters the base camp is sometimes closed due to the level of snow; according to experts’ springtime is certainly the most appealing time to visit ABC due to the full bloom of the rhododendron forests which gives the trek a truly majestic feel.

8. Upper Mustang

Upper mustang travel destination in Nepal

Upper Mustang Nepal

The Upper Mustang trek can also be called a peek into the hidden world of Buddhist kingdom of Mustang, also called Lo. Lo used to be a part of the Tibetan empire, and is therefore very closely related to Tibet; not only the culture, also the landscape is very much related to Tibet. Surrounded by rocks in all kinds of colors and bizarre formations, Mustang is mostly a barren landscape where the villages with their bright colored fields are like Oasis in the deserts. Mustang lies in the shadow of the Dhaulagiri region and is a complete desolate landscape. The culture of the people living there is one of the major attractions for tourists and visitors alike.

7. Rara Lake

Rara lake

Rara taal is the biggest lake situated within the borders of Nepal, which lies at an altitude of 2,990 m above sea level and covers an area of 10.8 square kilometers. The lake is surrounded by Rara National Park on all sides, the park was established in 1976 to preserve the beauty of the lake and protect the unique floral and faunal importance of the rare and vulnerable species found around the lake. The trek to Rara has been a popular destination for many trekkers, with a very rough route in the western part of Nepal. The trek begins with a flight to Jumla, and a mountainous trek follows after that, where one would pass many villages untouched by all the hassle in the world and finally reaching the banks of the Rara Lake which was aesthetically described by GORP founder Bill Greer as, ‘’a shimmering blue jewel set in a ring of snowy peaks.’’

6. Khaptad National Park


Khaptad National Park is a protected area in the Far-Western Region of Nepal which was established in 1984 on the advice of the region’s holy man Khaptad Baba. The Park stretches over four districts of Bajhang,Bajura, Accham and Doti and covers an area of 225 square km. The landscape consists of steep slopes, streams and moorland. It is considered to be one of the best scenic landscapes Nepal has to offer, with various landscapes and species of birds and animals along with different kinds of vegetation it surely is a place where almost none of the beauty has been rearranged by human hands. Certainly a place where one can experience the true essence of tranquility and peace.

5. Panch Pokhari

pach Pokhari

Panch Pokhari is Nepali for ‘five lakes’ at the base of Jungal Himal, which are considered to be holy and of religious importance. The trek to Panch Pokhari is a 12 days trek to these five holy lakes through untouched traditional villages in the presence of spectacular Himalayan landscapes. The trek offers pristine mountain views, rich culture and genuine adventure combined with unsurpassed scenic beauty and biological diversity as you make your way to a group of high altitude lakes, sacred to both Buddhist and Hindu people.

4. Gosaikunda Lake

gosaikunda top travel destination in Nepal

Situated inside the Nepal’s Langtang National Park and located at an altitude of 4,380 in the Rasuwa district covering an area of 1,030 ha, Gosaikunda is an adventure travel destination that has been delineated as a religious site according to Hindu mythology. It is basically an alpine freshwater oligotrophic lake surrounded by spectacular mountainous view and is a significant place of interest in the Dhunche-Helambu trekking route. This trek adjoins the Langtang valley trek in the same district and the two treks can be combined, this trek can easily be done teahouse style due to the availability of hotels and lodges all along the trekking route.

3. Chitwan National Park

chitwan national park travel destination in Nepal

This was the very first National Park established in Nepal in the year 1973 and was granted the status of a World Heritage Site in 1984. Formerly called the Royal Chitwan National Park, it was renamed to only Chitwan National Park after the dismissal of the royal family. The park covers an area of 932 square kilometers and is located in the subtropical Inner Terai lowlands of south-central Nepal in the district of Chitwan. It is certainly one of the most popular tourist destinations in Nepal, with several lodges and hotels providing full accommodations inside the park along with elephant-jeep-safaris, rafting tours and guided jungle walks. The park is a sheer example of wildlife exploration and all the different kinds of birds and vegetation that provide importance to its existence.

2. Poon Hill

poon hill travel destination in Nepal

Poon hill is the view point in the Annapurna foothills that offer unobstructed and magnificent mountain views. The Ghorepani and Poon Hill trek is a colorful foray into the Annapurna Region which starts and ends in Pokhara. The trail goes through patchwork valleys, dense mossy forests and past icy waterfalls where one can stop to cool off and rest. On the way to Poon hill around every corner is a tantalizing glimpse of the high mountains, whole horizon of which is revealed to you as you reach the higher points of your trek. The trek to Poon hill certainly one not to miss out on if you are planning to visit Nepal anytime soon.

1.  Everest Base Camp

everest base camp travel destination in Nepal

It is certainly acknowledged by everyone that the highest mountain peak in the world Mt. Everest lies in Nepal. As it is not feasible for anyone or everyone to attempt and climb the Everest itself, the trek to Everest Base Camp trek  shall suffice for the experience of conquering Everest, at least experience and feel wise. A trek that lasts 16 days offers an exhilarating flight to Lukla, then a trek through lush rhododendron forest and stone walled traditional villages, to the Sherpa Land, Namche and all the way to the village of Phortse Gaon where one can witness magical peaks of Everest and Nuptse and various other mountain ranges. The journey involves plenty of challenges and requires a high level of fitness. The camp lies at an altitude of 5,364 meters. The camp is a more of a rest point for Climbers looking to climb the Everest and they rest there for several days for acclimatization to reduce the risks of severity of altitude sickness; however it makes for an extravagant adventure tourism spot for any adventure enthusiasts.

FINAL CONCLUSION: Nepal certainly has a lot to offer compared to the size of land it beholds, more of everything so-to-say, from cultural diversity, to various types of landscapes, to scenic natural beauty, watersheds and much more. I personally believe that this land holds a great importance both religiously and in scientific and geographic terms and should be taken care of accordingly. Apart from trekking you can obviously rent a car in Nepal and travel by land around different cities. The destinations mentioned above are the best of what Nepal can offer any adventure enthusiasts, but these are only a few. There are other thousands of places if not exactly like the ones mentioned above, but similar in size, geo-diversity and the most important of all, the great feeling that all of these places offer you once you’re there.

Backward steps costing Ballance by Aakash Chopra

His habit of moving deep into his crease has challenged right-arm fast bowlers. The same can’t be said of the left-armers


In England last summer I had the opportunity to visit Lord’s and meet one of my favourite cricketers, Jason Gillespie, the coach of Yorkshire, who, on that day, were taking on hosts Middlesex in a county game. I watched Yorkshire’s No. 5 (and England’s currently out of favour No. 3), Gary Ballance, play that day.

He confidently shouldered the responsibility of taking his team to a commanding position. He square-cut everything that was short and outside off, pulled with authority if the bowler targeted his head, played a dab shot between the slips and gully if it wasn’t too short or wide, and played the slog sweep with control. Not once did he look to be in trouble for the duration of my two-and-a-half hour stay. He had played one Test at the time, and soon went on to play more, scoring heaps of runs.

With this stance, Ballance created new lengths. The good-length balls that most batsmen are forced to play off the front foot became reasonably short for him, negotiated comfortably off the back foot

Ballance’s rise in English cricket was meteoric. Even after though he scored just one fifty in his last 10 Test innings before being dropped for Edgbaston, his Test average is 47.76.

And he has got here the hard way. The promotion to No. 3 slot was always going to make things tougher for him: if you aren’t used to batting against the new ball in first-class cricket, it is really tough to make the required adjustments at the highest level straightaway, and Ballance wasn’t playing at that number for his county.

Batting at three in Test cricket, especially when you play most of your cricket in England, is a demanding job. Invariably you walk in while the ball is new and the bowlers fresh, and every aspect of your technique is tested.

While Ballance impressed everyone with his run-scoring abilities, sound temperament, and instinct to grind the opposition down, questions were always raised about his unique technique. He goes deep inside the crease before the bowler releases the ball. While most English batsmen have a pronounced back-and-across trigger movement, Ballance’s movement cannot qualify as just a trigger movement, for he gets into a second stance. A trigger movement is a small movement to get your body in motion, and it finishes just a fraction before the ball is bowled, but in Ballance’s case, he finishes his movement well before the ball is delivered, and gets himself into a brand new stance, with both feet inside the crease.

With this new stance, he creates new lengths. The good-length balls that most batsmen are forced to play off the front foot become reasonably short for Ballance, to be negotiated comfortably off the back foot, especially on slow English pitches. And anything shorter than that becomes an opportunity for him to score runs, off the back foot. His style of going deep into the crease is so pronounced and so visible that a bowler’s strategy against him is pretty straightforward: pitch it really full. But how full is really full is a difficult to question to address while bowling to him.

Ballance’s stance means he is often bothered by the bouncer that targets the body © Associated Press

Bowlers are not aligned to bowling half-volleys, and invariably their attempts to go full fall a little shorter than where they should ideally pitch against Ballance. Also, simply going full doesn’t work, for he is quite capable of putting bat to ball and to score off balls that are pitched full if they are within the line of his body. You need to bowl full and keep the line a few inches outside off. That is where you find him susceptible.

Another point in Ballance’s favour is that, like most left-handers, he is able to play the angles well, and that is why right-arm fast bowlers struggle to find the right length against him. They either go too straight or too short, and when they go full and wide, the angle betrays their motive when the ball is only halfway down the pitch.

While Ballance cracked the code against right-arm fast bowlers, he seems to have an obvious problem against left-arm fast bowlers bowling over the stumps. What right-arm seamers struggle with comes naturally to the left-armers, for they can easily go full and outside off without making it too obvious because of the angle – or the lack of it. The numbers suggest that Ballance has had a problem against left-arm fast bowlers in his short international career so far, and this summer is not proving to be a happy one in that regard, because Australia have, like New Zealand did, some quality left-arm pacemen.

Ballance v different types of bowlers in Tests
Bowling Hand Bowling Style Runs Balls RPO Dismissals Average
 Right arm  Pace  692  1424.00  2.91  13  53.23
 Right arm  Spin  232  475.00  2.93  4  58.00
 Left arm  Spin  191  417.00  2.74  3  63.66
 Left arm  Pace  79  182.00  2.60  5  15.80

The other thing that seems to be bothering him is the bouncer that targets his body. Since in his “second stance” both feet are already next to the stumps, there’s no room for him to go further back to negotiate extra bounce. He is happy to duck under or sway away to bouncers that come on predictably with pace, but the ones that keep rising and demand that he ride the bounce find him in a tangle.

So far England have been three down for not many in all four Ashes innings (3 for 43, 3 for 73, 3 for 29 and 3 for 42), which means they have lost 12 top-order wickets for just 187 runs. This might not be the only reason for their meek surrender in the second Test, but it is definitely one of the key reasons. Like Ballance, Ian Bell too has only one half-century in his last 10 Test innings, and both bat in the top four of this England line-up. One has already made way for Jonny Bairstow; the pressure must be building on the other.

Former India opener Aakash Chopra is the author of Out of the Blue, an account of Rajasthan’s 2010-11 Ranji Trophy victory. His website is here. @cricketaakash