Objectives: The study investigated the incidence and nature of injuries sustained by elite cricketers during a season and the possible risk factors associated with these injuries.
Methods: Fourteen physiotherapists and three doctors recorded 163 injuries sustained by 88 cricketers.
Results: Bowling accounted for 40.5% of the injuries, while fielding and batting accounted for 25.6% and 21.5% of the injuries, respectively. The injuries occurred while practising for or playing in club (3.7%), provincial 'B' (8.0%), provincial (51.5%) and international (36.8%) matches and occurred primarily during 4- and 5-day (33.1%) and 1-day (27.0%) matches. First-time injuries made up 63.6% of the injuries, recurrent injuries from previous seasons made up 28.4% and 8.0% of the injuries recurred again at a later stage during the season. Of the injuries 62.6% were acute, 14.7% chronic and 22.7% were acute injuries on existing chronic injuries. The majority of the injuries were muscle (37.4%), joint (20.9%) and tendon (15.3%) injuries. The primary mechanisms of injury were as a result of overuse (30.7%); running to catch or field (15.3%); during the bowling delivery or follow-through (12.3%); and being struck by the ball while batting (11.0%).
Conclusions: Coaches, players and the medical support team need to be aware of the incidence, nature and cause of injuries, so that the risk of injury can be further reduced.