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Cricket injuries: a longitudinal study of the nature of injuries to South African cricketers
  1. R A Stretch1
  1. 1Sport Bureau, University of Port Elizabeth, South Africa
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr Stretch, Sport Bureau, University of Port Elizabeth, PO Box 1600, Port Elizabeth 6000, South Africa; 


Objective: To determine the incidence and nature of injuries sustained by elite cricketers during a three season period in order to identify possible injury patterns.

Methods: Thirty six physiotherapists and 13 doctors working with 11 provincial and the South African national teams completed a questionnaire for each cricketer who presented with an injury during each season to determine anatomical site of injury, month of injury during the season, diagnosis, mechanism of injury, whether it was a recurrence of a previous injury, whether the injury had recurred again during the season, and biographical data.

Results: A total of 436 cricketers sustained 812 injuries. Bowling (41.3%), fielding and wicketkeeping (28.6%), and batting (17.1%) accounted for most of the injuries. The lower limbs (49.8%), upper limbs (23.3%), and back and trunk (22.8%) were most commonly injured. The injuries occurred primarily during first class matches (27.0%), limited overs matches (26.9%), and practices (26.8%) during the early part of the season. Acute injuries made up 64.8% of the injuries. The younger players (up to 24 years) sustained 57% of the first time injuries, and the players over 24 years of age sustained 58.7% of the injuries that recurred from a previous season. The injuries were mainly soft tissue injuries predominantly to muscle (41.0%), joint (22.2%), tendon (13.2%), and ligament (6.2%). The primary mechanism of injury was the delivery and follow through of the fast bowler (25.6%), overuse (18.3%), and fielding (21.4%).

Conclusion: The results indicate a pattern of cause of injury, with the young fast bowler most likely to sustain an acute injury to the soft tissues of the lower limb while participating in matches and practices during the early part of the season.

  • cricket
  • injury
  • overuse injury

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