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Trunk Side Strain Has a High Incidence in First-Class Cricket Fast Bowlers in Australia and England

Nealon, Andrew, R., BAppSc (Physio)*; Cook, Jill, L., PhD

Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine: May 2018 - Volume 28 - Issue 3 - p 284–288
doi: 10.1097/JSM.0000000000000450
Original Research

Objective: To investigate the past incidence of side strain injury and its associated factors in first-class cricket fast bowlers in Australia and England.

Design: Retrospective case series.

Setting: Professional cricket.

Participants: Cricket fast bowlers who were professionally contracted full time at first-class level in Australia and England in 2011. All bowlers were male and aged 18 or older. A bowler was defined as a fast bowler if the wicketkeeper would take their stance back from the stumps. There were 207 participants.

Interventions: Not applicable.

Main Outcome Measures: The association between bowling arm, player height, active trunk lateral flexion range of motion, side bridge endurance, volume of first-class cricket played, and the history of injury was determined.

Results: Over half of the bowlers had sustained at least 1 side strain in their career. Seventy-seven percent of primary injuries occurred in bowlers aged 24 or under. A higher proportion of injured bowlers had reached first-class volume in their career. Recurrence occurred in 30% of bowlers, with over 30% of these bowlers sustaining at least 1 further recurrence. Nearly half of all recurrences occurred within 2 years with a further quarter in the next year. The injury was not associated with any measured factors.

Conclusions: Side strain is a common injury among first-class cricket fast bowlers, especially at younger ages. It was associated with the volume of first-class cricket played. Recurrence was common and occurred most frequently in the first 2 years after primary injury.

*Aspire Physiotherapy Centre, Holgate, New South Wales, Australia; and

La Trobe Sport and Exercise Medicine Research Centre, La Trobe University, Bundoora, Victoria, Australia.

Corresponding Author: Andrew R. Nealon, BAppSc (Physio), Aspire Physiotherapy Centre, 479 Wattle Tree Rd, Holgate, NSW 2250, Australia (

The authors report no conflicts of interest.

Received December 12, 2016

Accepted April 06, 2017

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