Technique factors related to ball release speed and trunk injuries in high performance cricket fast bowlers

Sports Biomech. 2004 Jul;3(2):263-84. doi: 10.1080/14763140408522845.


In this study we analysed technique, ball speed and trunk injury data collected at the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) from 42 high performance male fast bowlers over a four year period. We found several notable technique inter-relationships, technique and ball speed relationships, and associations between technique and trunk injuries. A more front-on shoulder alignment at back foot contact was significantly related to increased shoulder counter-rotation (p < 0.001). Bowlers who released the ball at greater speeds had an extended front knee, or extended their front knee, during the front foot contact phase (p < 0.05). They also recorded higher braking and vertical impact forces during the front foot contact phase and developed those forces more rapidly (p < or =0.05). A maximum hip-shoulder separation angle occurring later in the delivery stride (p = 0.05) and a larger shoulder rotation to ball release (p = 0.05) were also characteristics of faster bowlers. Bowlers suffering lower back injuries exhibited typical characteristics of the 'mixed' technique. Specifically, the hip to shoulder separation angle at back foot contact was greater in bowlers who reported soft tissue injuries than in non trunk-injured bowlers (p = 0.03), and shoulder counter-rotation was significantly higher in bowlers who reported lumbar spine stress fractures than non trunk-injured bowlers (p = 0.01). The stress fracture group was also characterised by a larger hip angle at front foot contact and ball release, whereas a more flexed front knee at ball release characterised the non trunk-injured group.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Arm Injuries / epidemiology
  • Arm Injuries / etiology
  • Athletic Injuries / epidemiology
  • Athletic Injuries / etiology*
  • Australia / epidemiology
  • Back Injuries / epidemiology
  • Back Injuries / etiology*
  • Biomechanical Phenomena*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Movement
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology
  • Probability
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Shoulder Injuries
  • Sports / physiology*