Incidence and nature of epidemiological injuries to elite South African cricket players

  • RA Stretch


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.


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 0256-95749
print ISSN: 2078-5135