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Use of field-based tests to identify risk factors for injury to fast bowlers in cricket


Objective: To identify risk factors for injury to cricket fast bowlers using field-based tests.

Design: Prospective cohort study.

Setting: High performance Australian cricket.

Participants: Ninety-one male adolescent and adult fast bowlers (aged 12–33 years).

Assessment of risk factors: A field-based pre-participation screening, consisting of musculoskeletal, fitness and anthropometric assessments and analysis of bowling technique was undertaken. Bowlers were prospectively monitored over the 2003–4 season and bowling workload and injuries were recorded. Logistic regression was used to identify injury risk factors.

Main outcome measurement: Repetitive microtrauma injury to the trunk, back or lower limb associated with fast bowling.

Results: Two variables were identified as independent predictors of injury in the multivariate logistic regression analysis. Bowlers with hip internal rotation of ⩽30° on the leg ipsilateral to the bowling arm were at a significantly reduced risk of injury (OR 0.20, 95% CI 0.06 to 0.73) compared with bowlers with >40° of rotation. Bowlers with an ankle dorsiflexion lunge of 12.1–14.0 cm on the leg contralateral to the bowling arm were at a significantly increased risk (OR 4.03, 95% CI 1.07 to 15.21) than bowlers with a lunge of >14 cm. Bowlers with a lunge of ⩽12 cm were also at an increased risk, but not significantly so (OR 1.38, 95% CI 0.40 to 4.84).

Conclusions: Biomechanical research is needed to investigate how these two intrinsic risk factors increase injury risk so that appropriate interventions can be developed.

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