Bowling Cricket Injuries Over: a review of the literature

Monash University Accident Research Centre - Report #105 - 1996

Authors: A.McGrath & C. Finch

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In Australian, cricket is the most popular sport, as in many other Commonwealth countries. The pace of cricket, hazards of the play and expectations of the players have all increased over time. Although strictly a non-contact sport, injuries in cricket can result in a number of ways. A direct blow from a cricket ball during delivery or fielding may result in fractures, bruising, or worse, while a fielder may fall or collide with a boundary fence. Cricketers can also suffer from a range of overuse injuries associated with all aspects of the game including running, throwing, batting and bowling, the latter being the most common. Training, technique, footwear, surface, rehabilitation, warm-up and conditioning are all factors contributing to overuse injuries. The range of countermeasures for preventing cricket injuries is presented in this report, together with an assessment of the extent to which they have been formally demonstrated to be effective. Such countermeasures include pre-season conditioning, pre-participation screening, protective equipment including helmets and visors, warm-up programs, attention to environmental conditions, adequate footwear, modified rules, education and coaching, first aid and rehabilitation. Players are recommended to wear an array of protective gear such as pads, gloves and boxes, to guard themselves from injury. Recommendations include the need to conduct more biomechanical and epidemiological research into the mechanisms of injury; further development and testing of protective equipment; improving education for both players and coaches, particularly at the wider community level; adopting modified rules for children; extending pre-participation screening to the general cricket community; receiving prompt first aid; and improved injury data collections, particularly for the less formal level of play.

Sponsor: Sport and Recreation Victoria