This paper describes injury (circumstances and type) experienced by sub-populations at all levels of cricket and, where possible, the type of protective equipment used. The sample differs to that generally examined in the literature in that it is not restricted to evaluation of elite and professional players only. Over a 6-year period (2000-2005), 498 cases were identified. The average age of injury was 27 years and 86% of those injured were male. The population incidence rate was 2.3 per 100,000 per year, and participation incidence rate 39 per 100,000 per year. Over all age groups upper limb (36%) and lower limb (31%) were most commonly injured. Fracture was the main type of injury. Differences among age groups were identified. Children (<10 years) most commonly suffered head injury (contact with the bat); 10-19 year olds, head, upper and lower limb injury (in similar proportions) generally from contact with bat/ball; those over 20 years mainly had upper and lower limb injuries. Contact with the bat/ball was the dominant mechanism of injury for those under 50 years of age while overexertion, strenuous or repetitive movements, slips and falls were the mechanisms for those over 50. The large number of head injuries to children is of concern and both these, and the substantial number of injuries to the hand/phalanges (63% of all upper limb injuries), are important targets for injury prevention. The difference in injury patterns between children and adults is indicative of a need to develop, and use, different types of PPE at different skill/age levels.
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