Even in May, the Indian Premier League (IPL) was veiled in uncertainty due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In this backdrop, the start of this much-delayed tournament is a coup of sorts. However, the 53-day tournament would be without spectators, glamour, and celebrations that mark the annual mid-summer festival.
In between fear of contracting the disease players are putting up their best to guarantee a spectacular tournament. Among all the news, 34-year-old Anuja Dalvi, has found her way into the Rajasthan Royals team as the only female physio in the IPL, who is also in-charge of the COVID-19 task force. Her role has set her apart carving a niche among a foray particularly dominated by male.
Anuja holds a masters degree of Musculoskeletal & Sports Physiotherapy from the University of South Australia. Besides, she had been trained at two elite institutes; GS medical college at KEM Hospital in Mumbai and her Alma Mater at Adelaide.
Anuja brings into the side experience of over 11 years, having a rich profile of working with National Cricket Academy of the BCCI in Bengaluru as well as the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB). However, working with an IPL franchise is all over a different ballgame where the physical capabilities of players are highly demanding. In an interview with Gulf News, Anuja said, ‘‘It’s been a very interesting journey so far in my first year with Royals. I have previously done medical management work with IMG-IPL and Pro Kabbadi League but in these unique circumstances of Covid -19, each moment is a learning experience. ‘I am largely handling the Covid management for our franchise with an invaluable support of my team members, most notably team doctor Dr Robert Young and Gloster. A lot of structured thinking has gone behind our bio-bubble and the higher management is paying particular attention in achieving the very best to formulate and implement protocols – and at the same time – taking care of nurturing a healthy team environment in the bubble,’’
Besides cricket, Anuja has also been actively involved with Olympic sports – with the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF), badminton, tennis, shooting and gymnastics. She is also a part of an NGO Go Sports Foundation which works with the Olympic and Para-Olympic athletes.
Anuja is breaking the stereotypes, one associates with cricket physios in the IPL and she could inspire more women to join the league.