An upper limb kinematic model for the examination of cricket bowling: a case study of Mutiah Muralitharan

J Sports Sci. 2000 Dec;18(12):975-82. doi: 10.1080/026404100446775.


We show how biomechanics can be used to accurately assess spin-bowling techniques (offspin, legspin and topspin) in cricket, under controlled conditions, when the player is suspected of throwing. A 50 Hz six-camera Vicon Motion Analysis system was used to record the movements of markers strategically placed on the upper limb during each of the above bowling actions. A kinematic model of the upper limb, created using Vicon BodyBuilder software, enabled the movements of the upper arm and forearm to be described during each delivery. Selected physical characteristics of the upper limb were also measured. The present 'no ball' law in cricket with reference to throwing states that 'the arm should not be straightened in the part of the delivery that immediately precedes ball release'. The bowler, Mutiah Muralitharan, was shown to maintain a relatively constant elbow angle in the 0.06 s before ball release. Furthermore, this angle changed little from the time that the upper arm was angled vertically downward until ball release during the three spin-bowling actions.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Arm / physiology*
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Elbow / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Models, Anatomic
  • Range of Motion, Articular / physiology
  • Sports / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Sports / physiology*
  • Sri Lanka