|SPORTS & WELLNESS|
No time to
REST ON LAURELS
to REST ON LAURELS
The nation had waited for 28 long years for the triumph: a win in the Cricket World Cup. But, unfortunately, the players who made this possible, M. S. Dhoni and his squad of 15 players, were denied any rest or even time to rest on their laurels as they plunged straightaway into IPL 4. Some of the players, including the skipper, could not even go home to savour their moment of triumph. Chandigarh lad Yuvraj Singh made a whistle-stop trip to City Beautiful before rushing off to take up his new responsibility of captaincy of the new Pune Warriors squad.
Just look at the recent schedule of the Indian cricketers and one will understand how busy they have been. Starting from October last year, they have been playing not-stop cricket and will continue to do so this till June-July, 2012. And this does not take into account the Indian Government’s move to restore cricketing ties with neighbouring Pakistan after the success of cricket diplomacy during the World Cup semi-final clash at the PCA Stadium, Mohali, which was witnessed by the Prime Ministers of both countries.
But the amount of cricket being played is doing no good to the players. It was due to the back-up staff that the Indian team came out rather injury free during the long spread-out World Cup, where teams played games after a gap of four to five days. (But even with all back-up, fast bowler Praveen Kumar, who, many think, is the best Indian bowler in the death overs, could not play in the World Cup due to an injury).
It is thus natural that certain senior players have now taken strong objection to the heavy schedule drawn up for the team. They are of the view that the Test series against the West Indies should be totally scrapped and the team should just play the One-Day series in the Caribbean. But one doubts whether the BCCI will agree to this proposal since the two boards had drawn up the tour schedule much in advance and probably all arrangements are in place. And it also must be remembered that the Indians' newly acquired status of world champions will only help the West Indies Cricket Board to draw more spectators to the ground.
One can argue that the Indian cricketers are professionals and should be in a position to deliver every time they enter the playing arena. Some can also point to the fabulous amounts paid by the IPL teams to get the services of leading players. These cricketers will have to deliver if the franchise owners are to justify the large sums being paid to the players. But then sportspersons do need rest as also time to iron out their shortcomings at the nets. That probably will not happen, given the large number of matches they will have to play.
The long journey of the Indian players began last October, when Australia played two Tests and three ODIs against India in India. Then came the series against New Zealand in November, when the visitors played three Tests and five ODIs. Luckily, if one may say so, skipper Dhoni opted out of the ODI series, saying he needed to rest ahead of the more taxing tour of South Africa, which was scheduled for December 2010. In Dhoni's absence Gautam Gambhir led India to a clean sweep in the ODI series and the experience which the Delhi player, and now skipper of Kolkata Knight Riders, gained will stand him in good stead.
Even before the Kiwis returned home, over half the Indian squad was on its way to South Africa to play in a gruelling series consisting of three Tests, a single T20 game to be followed by five ODIs. This series did help India to prepare for the World Cup in right earnest but has anyone given a thought to the players who returned home, had a very short camp and went straightaway to the World Cup? The fact that India were able to go ahead and win the World Cup probably mitigated some of the pains of the non-stop cricket the players were going through.
And the travails of the Indian cricketers do not end with the ongoing IPL 4. After a very brief gap, the Indian squad has to travel all the way to the West Indies to play three Tests, five ODIs and one T20 game in June-July to be followed by a tour of England, starting towards the end of July and extending till September, where they play three Tests, five ODIs and one T20 game before England return the visit by touring India in October for yet another series exactly similar to the one played earlier in England. In between the two back-to-back series with England,there is the Champions League T20 where a number of leading players will be involved.
Later in 2011, the West Indies will undertake a tour of India before the national squad goes on a tour of Australia for a gruelling series of four Tests, five ODIs and one T20 game And after all this is over, there is every likelihood that India will undertake a tour of Pakistan, the first by any team after the Sri Lankans' tour of the country was called off midway after the visiting cricketers were attacked by terrorists.
The BCCI is taking the stand that players have the option to take rest whenever they want to, but given the fierce competition for a place in the national squad and the big money involved it is only the likes of Sachin Tendulkar of M. S. Dhoni who can opt out of the team and regain their places without any fuss. For the other cricketers there is very little choice, given the uncertainty of the game and their place in the team. After all, so much money is involved!
Do you feel too tired or low and do not feel like doing any activity? You may be suffering from the most common ailment prevalent among Indian women — iron deficiency, anaemia.
Anaemia can be detected with a simple blood test. If it shows low (<11gm/dl) haemoglobin levels, this means that you are required to make some changes in your diet.
Lack of nutrition and an imbalanced diet are one of the key reasons that result in anaemia. This usually occurs due to the consumption of foods deficient in iron, folic acid and Vitamin B12. Dietary lack of iron is the most common cause of anaemia, because the body needs iron to make haemoglobin. Lack of Vitamin C in the diet can also leads to anaemia, as it helps in the absorption of iron. Diet is of utmost importance in the treatment of anaemia. There are some iron inhibitors like phytates and fibre in wholegrain cereals and pulses, tannins and polyphenols in tea, oxalates in green leafy vegetables and excess calcium supplements, which may hinder the absorption of iron.
In today’s world, everyone has become conscious of their weight and cholesterol levels but the concept of wholesome balanced diet is fast disappearing. The result is that some vital minerals and vitamins may get deficient in the diet, which may lead to anaemia. If you are anaemic you are not able to perform your daily routine activities efficiently and even do not feel like exercising.
Anaemia does not occur only in women belonging to low-income group but is also very common in the middle and even in the higher-income group. Women are more prone to this problem, as there are so many factors responsible for this, like inadequate nutritious food and more intake of refined foods or junk food by young girls. Moreover, the students and the women who are going through hectic schedules do not find time to eat proper meals at the right time. Heavy menstrual periods in case of young girls and pre-menopausal women having erratic flow may be the other causes of anaemia. Secondly, the women themselves do not eat balanced meals, either they prefer to eat fried and refined foods or eat less food to maintain their body weight at "size zero". Bad eating habits like drinking tea and coffee with meals also lead to poor absorption of iron.
In case of very low levels of haemoglobin (< 10gm/dl) some of the iron supplements can be included in the diet to maintain the normal haemoglobin levels. Ferrous iron salts (ferrous fumarate, ferrous sulphate, and ferrous gluconate) are the best absorbed forms of iron supplements. Iron supplements should be taken in between the meals, as they are better absorbed.
Just relax, here some important tips along with some of the recipes rich in iron and Vitamin C are given, which may be really helpful to compensate the deficiency of these important nutrients to some extent.
Start your day with a fresh glass of lemon water.
The writer is a dietician with the Department of Dietetics, PGI