Background A negative association between injuries and team success has been demonstrated across a number of sports, but the nature of this association in professional cricket teams is currently unclear.
Objective To examine the relationship between injuries and team success in professional cricket.
Design A retrospective analysis of all match time-loss injuries and County Championship point tallies for nine seasons (from 2010 – 2018 inclusive).
Setting Eighteen First-Class County Cricket (FCCC) cricket teams in England and Wales.
Patients (or Participants) Professional male senior first-team cricketers registered to one of the eighteen clubs (mean n = 507 players/season).
Interventions (or Assessment of Risk Factors) Two injury measures were assessed for within-team (linear mixed model) and between-team (correlation) effects; match time-loss injury incidence and burden, to account for both the frequency and severity (days lost from competition and practice) of injuries.
Main Outcome Measurements County Championship league points tally was used as the measure of team success.
Results A moderate negative correlation was found between injury burden and team performance (r = -0.36; 90% CI: -0.7 to 0.1; likely negative). A reduction in match injury incidence of two match time-loss injuries per 1,000 days of play within a team (90% CI 1.4 to 3.0; possibly negative), or a reduction in match injury burden of 74 days per 1,000 days of play (90% CI 50.2 to 109.0; possibly negative) in any given season was associated with the smallest worthwhile change in County Championship points (+13 points) for Division 1, but not for Division 2.
Conclusions Moderate reductions in injury burden potentially have worthwhile effects on performance for a domestic cricket team in the County Championship Division 1.
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