Facts on cricket injuries
Cricket is a popular summer sport in Australia that has seen the pace, hazards and player expectations of the game increase over the years.
Statistics from the Australian Sports Commission’s 2006 survey showed an estimated 673,600 Australians aged 15 years and older were involved in playing indoor and outdoor cricket in the 12 month period prior to being surveyed.
Although cricket is a non-contact sport, injuries do occur.
How many injuries?
- From 2002-2003, 1,034 people were admitted to hospitals across Australia for cricket-related injuries.
- Over the period 2002-2004, 571 people were admitted to Victorian hospitals while 2,003 people visited emergency departments for cricket-related injuries.
The causes and types of injuries
- The most common types of injuries are strains, sprains, fractures, bruising and open wounds.
- Injuries to the upper body namely the hand and finger, the lower body and the head and face, are most common.
- Injuries to the face, finger and hand from a cricket ball are the most common types of hospital-treated injuries, followed by falls.
- Overuse injuries are common and often associated with back and shoulder injuries among bowlers.
Safety tips for cricket
Good preparation is important
- Undertake training before the start of the season.
- Always warm up, stretch and cool down.
- If young bowlers experience discomfort whilst bowling, Cricket Victoria’s Pace Bowling Program offers a bowling technique assessment (details at cricketvictoria.com.au).
Good technique and practices will help prevent injury
- Pace bowlers should restrict the number of overs bowled during play, taking into account their physical maturity and fitness. Young bowlers should refer to Cricket Australia’s ‘Well Played’ document for bowling workload recommendations (details at cricket.com.au).
- Junior bowlers should rest for 3.5 days per week from bowling.
- Coach young players on the proper sliding stop technique.
- Coaches should undertake regular reaccreditation and education to ensure their knowledge is kept up-to-date.
Wear the right protective equipment
- Wear protective gear at all times.
- Whilst batting, wear body padding including gloves, leg pads, boxes and forearm guards.
- When wicket keeping, batting or fielding in close, wear a cricket helmet with a faceguard.
- Seek professional advice on footwear.
Modify rules and equipment for children
- Encourage children to play MILO in2CRICKET activities. These are modified games designed to teach children the skills of the game in a fun environment that promotes maximum participation. Visit in2CRICKET.com.aufor more information.
Other safety tips
- Drink water before, during and after play.
- Wear broad-spectrum 30+ sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat, even in cloudy conditions.
If an injury occurs
- Players should seek prompt attention from qualified first aid personnel.
- Ensure players are fully rehabilitated before returning to play.
- An ankle brace should be worn for at least three months after serious ankle injury.
For further information contact
Smartplay – Sports Medicine Australia
Visit www.smartplay.com.au or www.sma.org.au
Phone: 03 9653 9999
For a full list of references, contact Smartplay.
This fact sheet has been reprinted with the permission of the Department of Planning and Community Development and VicHealth.
Prepared by Monash University Accident Research Centre 1996. Updated and reprinted 2008.
Photos courtesy of Cricket Victoria and Cricket Australia.