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The Effects of an Eight Over Cricket Bowling Spell Upon Pace Bowling Biomechanics and Performance Within Different Delivery Lengths

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The Effects of an Eight Over Cricket Bowling Spell Upon Pace Bowling Biomechanics and Performance Within Different Delivery Lengths

Samuel J Callaghan et al. Sports (Basel).

Abstract

Pace bowlers must often perform extended bowling spells with maximal ball release speed (BRS) while targeting different delivery lengths when playing a multi-day match. This study investigated the effect of an eight over spell upon pace bowling biomechanics and performance at different delivery lengths. Nine male bowlers (age = 18.8 ± 1.7 years) completed an eight over spell, while targeting different lengths (short: 7-10 m, good: 4-7 m, full: 0-4 m from the batter's stumps, respectively) in a randomized order. Trunk, knee and shoulder kinematics and ground reaction forces at front foot contact (FFC), as well as run-up velocity and BRS were measured. Paired sample t-tests (p ≤ 0.01), Hedges' g effect sizes, and statistical parametrical mapping were used to assess differences between mean variables from the first and last three overs. No significant differences (p = 0.05-0.98) were found in any discrete or continuous variables, with the magnitude of difference being trivial-to-medium (g = 0.00-0.73) across all variables. Results suggest pace bowlers sustain BRS through a single eight over spell while tolerating the repeatedly high whole-body biomechanical loads as suggested by maintaining the kinematics or technique at the assessed joints during FFC. Practically, the findings are advantageous for bowling performance and support current bowling load monitoring practices.

Keywords: ball release speed; fast bowler; fatigue; load monitoring; statistical parametrical mapping.

Conflict of interest statement

The authors have no conflict of interest.

Figures

Figure 1
Figure 1
The dimensions of the cricket pitch used during testing. Delivery zones of short (7–10 m from the batter’s stumps), good (4–7 m from the batter’s stumps) and full (0–4 m from the batter’s stumps) are shown.
Figure 2
Figure 2
The sagittal plane (flexion/extension) knee joint angle trajectories between the first three (blue line) and last three (red line) of the eight over-spell, for the short (A), good (B), and full (C) delivery lengths. (i) is the mean knee joint angle trajectories with standard deviation clouds (first three overs = blue, last three overs = red). (ii) displays the paired samples SPM{t}: The t statistic as a function of time, describing the strength and slope of the relationship between the first three overs and last three overs testing measures. The dotted horizontal line indicates the random field theory thresholds for significance, and p values indicate the likelihood that a random process of the temporal smoothness would be expected to produce a suprathreshold cluster of the observed size.
Figure 3
Figure 3
The vertical ground reaction force trajectories between the first three (blue line) and last three (red line) of an eight over-spell, for the short (A), good (B), and full (C) delivery lengths. (i), is the mean ground reaction force trajectory with standard deviation clouds (first three overs = blue, last three overs = red). (ii), displays the paired samples SPM{t}: The t statistic as a function of time, describing the strength and slope of the relationship between the first three overs and last three overs testing measures. The dotted horizontal line indicates the random field theory thresholds for significance, and p values indicate the likelihood that a random process of the temporal smoothness would be expected to produce a suprathreshold cluster of the observed size.
Figure 4
Figure 4
The braking (horizontal) ground reaction force trajectories between the first three (blue line) and last three (red line) of an eight over-spell, for the short (A), good (B), and full (C) delivery lengths. (i), is the mean ground reaction force trajectory with standard deviation clouds (first three overs = blue, last three overs = red). (ii), displays the paired samples SPM{t}: The t statistic as a function of time, describing the strength and slope of the relationship between the first three overs and last three overs testing measures. The dotted horizontal line indicates the random field theory thresholds for significance, and p values indicate the likelihood that a random process of the temporal smoothness would be expected to produce a suprathreshold cluster of the observed size.

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