Background Although cricket is the most popular sport in South Asia, there is a general lack of surveillance data from the region to provide a focus for injury prevention strategies.
Objective To establish first injury and illness profile of elite Pakistan cricketers.
Design Prospective cohort study (52 weeks)
Setting Pakistan men’s cricket.
Participants Centrally contracted & national team male players.
Main Outcome Measurements Incidence, prevalence, locations and mechanisms of injuries & illness.
Results The mean age of 49 players was 28 years (±6). 36 players sustained 414 injuries (57% new injuries). 43% players sustained ≥ 5 injuries, 31% injuries were acute. 20% were time-lose injuries and 60% occurred during matches. Match injury incidence was 210/1,000 player-days for all injuries, and 22.5/1,000 player-days for time-lose injuries. Match time-lose seasonal injury incidence was 86 injuries/100 players-per-year. Lumbar spine (16%), illness (11%) and lower leg injuries (10%) were most common; specifically lumbar spine disc’s & facet joints (14%) and calf muscle strains & cramping (8%). There were 46% joint and 27% muscle injuries. Most injuries occurred via a gradual onset (54%), with bowling (36%) the most common injury mechanism. The international match time-lose injury prevalence was 4.3%, whilst 10.5% for one-day cricket. General-time-loss injury prevalence was 5.6%; 6.5% for pace-blowers. International tours non time-lose injury prevalence was 39%. 81 time-lose injuries, led to 679 days (average 8 days/injury) time-loss; illness (22%) and lumbar spine injuries (15%) were the most common. Tendon’s had most days-lost (303; average 25.3 days/injury), 96% from injuries within domestic cricket.
Conclusions This is the first study demonstrating that the injury profile is different in Pakistani cricketers with higher rates of lumbar spine, and burden of tendon injuries. Illnesses in cricket is not previously reported, however this demonstrated high burden from illnesses. More research is required to determine the causes of these differences, and to implement specific strategies to improve player health from the sub-continent.