Measures to prevent cricket injuries: an overview

Sports Med. 1999 Oct;28(4):263-72. doi: 10.2165/00007256-199928040-00004.


Cricket is a major international sport, generally played in British Common-wealth nations. Although strictly a non-contact sport, injuries in cricket can result in a number of ways. In high level cricket, overuse injuries are common and related to the physical demands of the sport, particularly in the delivery of the ball. The bowling action involves repetitive twisting, extension and rotation of the trunk at the same time as absorption of large ground reaction forces over a short period of time. These movements, if performed incorrectly or too frequently, can lead to overuse injuries of the back, particularly in elite and high level cricketers. Cross-sectional studies have demonstrated that spinal overuse injuries occur more frequently to cricketers adopting a mixed bowling action than to those who favour a front- or side-on bowling technique. Strategies to ensure that cricketers do not adopt the mixed action or bowl too fast for extended periods can prevent these back injuries. Injuries resulting from impacts, generally from the cricket ball, can also occur and are more common during low level competition or informal participation. Because of the potential severity of these impacts, a range of protective equipment ranging from body padding to gloves and face protectors are now common features of standard cricket equipment. Although a number of measures to prevent cricket injuries have been widely suggested in the literature, there have been very few studies that have formally assessed their effectiveness in preventing injury. Further research is needed to gain a greater understanding of the biomechanics of cricket actions, the mechanisms of resultant injuries and the role of various risk factors in injury causation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Athletic Injuries / epidemiology
  • Athletic Injuries / prevention & control*
  • Australia / epidemiology
  • Child
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Cumulative Trauma Disorders / prevention & control*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Risk Factors
  • Sports*