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Harris Shield player injured; MSSA have no medical aid to offer

Saraswati Mandir batsman, Shubham struck by a ball from nearby match during Harris Shield tie; organisers MSSA have no medical aid to offer

Given the number of matches played simultaneously and in close proximity across the length and breadth of Mumbai's various maidans, it's not uncommon to see players shouting "watch out" to warn one another of that odd ball that's been hit in the air at one of the nearby matches. Unfortunately, Saraswati Mandir's (Mahim) batsman Shubham Chowkekar heard no such warning call and was struck on the head while at the crease during his inter-school Harris Shield (Plate Division) match against Dhirubhai Ambani International by an aerial ball hit off a batsman from another match nearby.


Playing it cool: Saraswati Mandir's Shubham Chowkekar has some ice
applied to his head after he was hit by a ball from a nearby match
during his Harris Shield tie against Dhirubhai Ambani International.
Pic/Sundari Iyer


Not serious
Fortunately, the impact of the leather on his skull was not serious and didn't lead to any external bleeding, but it was enough to make the 15-year-old giddy. Shubham was hit at a crucial time in the match too -- in the 39th over when he was on seven and with Saraswati needing 60-odd runs to win. Though Shubham got up and continued to play after he was picked up by a crowd and given first aid, he was out the very next ball he faced. Subsequently, the Mahim school lost by 48 runs.

No medical aid
Sadly, there were no proper medical arrangements either at the Mumbai Schools Sports Association-organised tournament. Saraswati coach Prakash Jadhav ran to his ward and offered him water before checking for any serious injury, which fortunately was not to be. But even he was appalled by the lack of proper medication at hand. "There was no medical help available at the ground when Shubham got hit. God forbid, but I can't imagine what would have happened had he been  seriously injured.

As wickets are very close to each other, players being hit by a ball from some other match nearby, is a regular feature at Azad and Cross maidans. But I feel the organisers, MSSA, should at least keep an ambulance on standby in case of an emergency. But, at MSSA, nobody is bothered. In fact, had anything serious happened, MSSA would have blamed us (the school) for it," Jadhav told MiD DAY.

MSSA cricket secretary HS Bhor was not aware of the incident but turned down the idea of having an ambulance near the ground nevertheless. "I have not been informed about the incident. But we cannot have an ambulance for the event as the tournament is conducted on a very large scale. If a player is seriously injured, we take him to a nearby hospital. For smaller injuries, the teams have their own first aid with them."

Meanwhile, Shubham, an SSC student, has been advised by his doctor to take an X-Ray. "I went to a hospital near my home in Mahim this evening. The doctor said he will do an X-ray of my head and only after that will he be in a position to advise any further treatment," said Shubham.

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