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Is risk of fast bowling injury in cricketers greatest in those who bowl most? A cohort of young English fast bowlers
  1. P L Gregory,
  2. M E Batt,
  3. W A Wallace
  1. Centre for Sports Medicine, Queen’s Medical Centre, Nottingham, UK
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr Gregory
 Centre for Sports Medicine, Orthopaedic and Accident Surgery, C Floor West Block, Queen’s Medical Centre, University Hospital, Nottingham NG7 2UH, UK;


Objectives: To determine whether young fast bowlers are exceeding directives limiting bowling and how incidence of fast bowling injury varies with amount of bowling.

Methods: A prospective cohort study of injuries sustained by 70 fast bowlers (mean (SD) age 15.3 (2.4) years) was undertaken. Bowlers were recruited from the Centres of Excellence of three “First Class” counties in England in January 1998. Details of injuries were collected by telephone questionnaire every six weeks for six months from each bowler. The number of balls bowled in matches and practices by each bowler was recorded. The cohort was divided into groups according to the number of balls bowled in the study period, and bowling injury incidences were calculated for each group.

Main outcome measures: All injuries caused by bowling and interfering with bowling.

Results: Telephone follow up was achieved when planned on 97.9% of occasions. There were 23 bowling injuries reported in the study period that met the inclusion criteria. The overall incidence of bowling injury in the study period was 32.8 per 100 fast bowlers. The incidence of bowling injury for the 15 bowlers who bowled less than 1000 balls in the study period was 20.0 per 100 fast bowlers. The incidence for the 32 who bowled 1000–2000 balls was 37.5 per 100 fast bowlers. The incidence for the 14 who bowled 2000–3000 balls was 35.7 per 100. The incidence for the nine who bowled more than 3000 balls was 33.3 per 100.

Conclusions: The expected increased incidence of bowling injury in young fast bowlers who bowl most was not observed, although more than 12% exceeded the recommended limit.

  • cricket
  • bowling
  • injury
  • overuse

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