The incidence and nature of cricket injuries amongst South African schoolboy cricketers

Milsom, Natashia M. (2006-12)

Thesis (M Sport Sc (Sport Science))--University of Stellenbosch, 2006.


INTRODUCTION: The primary aim of this study is to identify the prevalence and nature of injuries sustained by South African schoolboy cricketers. The results will then be used to set possible preventative measures in order to minimize the incidence of first-time and recurrent injuries. METHODS: The population consisted of 196 cricketers representing all 16 provincial teams in the under 19 Coca-Cola Khaya Majola cricket week played in Pretoria from 16 - 20 December 2004. Data were collected retrospectively and the cricket players were asked to recall all injuries from June 2003 to May 2004. The researcher personally guided each cricketer through a questionnaire regarding training and injury. The questionnaire was designed to obtain the following information: i) anatomical site of injury, ii) month of injury, iii) diagnosis of injury, iv) cause of injury, v) whether it was a recurrence of a previous injury and vi) whether the injury recurred during the season. A questionnaire was handed to each of the coaches who then asked if they could complete the questionnaire in their own time. The questionnaire was designed to see the level of coaching qualifications achieved by them and their level of understanding of basic training principles. RESULTS: The results showed that 67 injuries were sustained by 196 cricketers with a seasonal incidence of 34.2. Almost 72% of injuries occurred during matches, 14.9% occurred gradually due to the repetitive stresses sustained during matches and practices, 11.9% occurred during practice and 1.5% of the injuries occurred during other forms of training. Surprisingly, no injuries were sustained to the head, neck and face region while 34.3% were sustained to the upper limbs; 34.3% to the lower limbs and 31.3% to the back and trunk. Bowling accounted for 50.7% of the injuries, while fielding accounted for 32.8%, batting accounted for 14.9% and the remaining 1.5% occurred while warming-up or training. The primary mechanism of injury was the delivery and follow through of the fast bowler (34.3%), direct impact from the cricket ball when attempting to take a catch (10.4%), running after the ball (6.0%), stopping the ball along the ground (6.0%) and landing incorrectly after diving for the ball (6.0%). Fifty eight of the injuries were reported as being first time injuries while only nine injuries were due to the recurrence of a previous injury. The majority of injuries (40.6%) reported were quite severe and took the cricketers more than 21 days to recover. Thirty six percent of injuries allowed the cricketers to return to play within seven days of acquiring the injury. Cricketers were found to be more prone to injury during December and January. CONCLUSION: Potential risk factors for injury have been identified and it has been suggested that coaches and cricketers partake in continuous educational processes that focus on all the physical, training, mental and technical components necessary for success in cricket. Cricketers should undergo regular musculoskeletal evaluations and be given personalized training programs. It is essential that a National database for junior cricketers be implemented.

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