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Quantifying Cricket Fast-Bowling Skill

Simon A. Feros, Warren B. Young, and Brendan J. O’Brien

Fast bowling is a specialized discipline within the game of cricket. Typically, fast bowlers form the majority of the “bowling attack” against the opposition team. Each fast bowler presents with varying skill sets and abilities. Some bowlers are renowned for their excellent bowling accuracy (eg

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The Shoulder Distraction Force in Cricket Fast Bowling

Max C. Stuelcken, René E.D. Ferdinands, Karen A. Ginn, and Peter J. Sinclair

This preliminary study aimed to quantify the magnitude of the peak shoulder distraction force during the bowling action of female cricket fast bowlers. An eight camera Vicon motion analysis system operating at 120 Hz recorded the fast bowling actions of 18 Australian female fast bowlers. A three segment inverse solution model of the bowling arm was used to calculate the shoulder distraction force. A large peak shoulder distraction force was recorded during the early stages of the follow-through of the bowling action. When normalized for body weight, the distraction force was within the range of values reported for baseball and softball pitchers, who are considered to be at high risk of shoulder injury. Therefore, the relative importance of the peak shoulder distraction force in the fast bowling action for the development of shoulder pain in female cricket fast bowlers warrants further investigation.

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Relationships Between Fast Bowling Technique and Ball Release Speed in Cricket

Peter J. Worthington, Mark A. King, and Craig A. Ranson

The aim of this study was to identify the key aspects of technique that characterize the fastest bowlers. Kinematic data were collected for 20 elite male fast bowlers with 11 kinematic parameters calculated, describing elements of fast bowling technique that have previously been linked to ball release speed. Four technique variables were identified as being the best predictors of ball release speed, explaining 74% of the observed variation in ball release speed. The results indicate that the fastest bowlers have a quicker run-up and maintain a straighter knee throughout the front foot contact phase. The fastest bowlers were also observed to exhibit larger amounts of upper trunk flexion up to ball release and to delay the onset of arm circumduction. This study identifies those technique variables that best explain the differences in release speeds among fast bowlers. These results are likely to be useful in both the coaching and talent identification of fast bowlers.

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The Relationship Between Variables in Wearable Microtechnology Devices and Cricket Fast-Bowling Intensity

Dean J. McNamara, Tim J. Gabbett, Peter Blanch, and Luke Kelly

Cricket, like many other popular international team sports, requires varying player types to perform very specific roles within the team. One of these roles in cricket is fast bowling. Fast bowlers are required to bowl at high ball velocities to opposition batters. Fast bowling has been associated

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Lumbar- and Cervicothoracic-Spine Loading During a Fast-Bowling Spell

Matt Greig and Philip Nagy


Epidemiological studies highlight a prevalence of lumbar vertebrae injuries in cricket fast bowlers, with governing bodies implementing rules to reduce exposure. Analysis typically requires complex and laboratory-based biomechanical analyses, lacking ecological validity. Developments in GPS microtechnologies facilitate on-field measures of mechanical intensity, facilitating screening toward prevention and rehabilitation.


To examine the efficacy of using GPS-mounted triaxial accelerometers to quantify accumulated body load and to investigate the effect of GPS-unit placement in relation to epidemiological observations.


Repeated measures, field-based.


Regulation cricket pitch.


10 male injury-free participants recruited from a cricket academy (18.1 ± 0.6 y).


Each participant was fitted with 2 GPS units placed at the cervicothoracic and lumbar spines to measure triaxial acceleration (100 Hz). Participants were instructed to deliver a 7-over spell of fast bowling, as dictated by governing-body guidelines.

Main Outcome Measures:

Triaxial total accumulated body and the relative uniaxial contributions were calculated for each over.


There was no significant main effect for overs bowled, in either total load or the triaxial contributions to total load. This finding suggests no cumulative fatigue effect across the 10-over spell. However, there was a significant main effect for GPS-unit location, with the lumbar unit exposed to significantly greater load than the cervicothoracic unit in each of the triaxial planes.


There was no evidence to suggest that accumulated load significantly increased as a result of spell duration. In this respect the governing-body guidelines for this age group can be considered safe, or potentially even conservative. However, the observation of higher body load at the lumbar spine than at the cervicothoracic spine supports epidemiological observations of injury incidence. GPS microtechnologies might therefore be considered in screening and monitoring of players toward injury prevention and/or during rehabilitation.

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Submaximal Cricket Fast Bowling Offers a Disproportionate Reduction in Loading Versus Performance: An Alternative Workload Intervention

Matt Greig and Benjamin Child

Epidemiological research in cricket has highlighted the risk associated with fast bowling, accounting for up to 66% of all injuries 1 and with an annual injury prevalence of 20.6%. 2 Lumbar stress fractures are the most prevalent injury, accountable for 15% of missed playing time. 2 The fast

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The Physical Differences Between Faster and Slower Elite Male and Female Pace Bowlers

Ryan T. Letter, Dan B. Dwyer, Eric J. Drinkwater, and Simon A. Feros

.0.2; R Foundation for Statistical Computing, Vienna, Austria) and R-studio (version 1.3.1093; RStudio, PBC, Boston, MA). To interpret the magnitude of the differences between the slower and faster bowling groups, Cohen d was calculated for each physical attribute. For the attributes that met the

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Do Fast Bowlers Fatigue in Cricket? A Paradox Between Player Anecdotes and Quantitative Evidence

Ed Maunder, Andrew E. Kilding, and Simeon P. Cairns

The manifestations of fatigue during fast bowling in cricket were systematically evaluated using subjective reports by cricket experts and quantitative data published from scientific studies. Narratives by international players and team physiotherapists were sourced from the Internet using criteria for opinion-based evidence. Research articles were evaluated for high-level fast bowlers who delivered 5- to 12-over spells with at least 1 quantitative fatigue measure. Anecdotes indicate that a long-term loss of bowling speed, tiredness, mental fatigue, and soreness occur. Scientific research shows that ball-release speed, bowling accuracy, bowling action (technique), run-up speed, and leg-muscle power are generally well maintained during bowling simulations. However, bowlers displaying excessive shoulder counterrotation toward the end of a spell also show a fall in accuracy. A single notable study involving bowling on 2 successive days in the heat showed reduced ball-release speed (–4.4 km/h), run-up speed (–1.3 km/h), and accuracy. Moderate to high ratings of perceived exertion transpire with simulations and match play (6.5–7.5 Borg CR-10 scale). Changes of blood lactate, pH, glucose, and core temperature appear insufficient to impair muscle function, although several potential physiological fatigue factors have not been investigated. The limited empirical evidence for bowling-induced fatigue appears to oppose player viewpoints and indicates a paradox. However, this may not be the case since bowling simulations resemble the shorter formats of the game but not multiday (test match) cricket or the influence of an arduous season, and comments of tiredness, mental fatigue, and soreness signify phenomena different from what scientists measure as fatigue.

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The Physical Qualities of Elite Australian Pace Bowlers: Typical Characteristics and Longitudinal Changes in Men and Women

Ryan T. Letter, Dan B. Dwyer, Eric J. Drinkwater, and Simon A. Feros

Scholarship as a part of a doctorate degree. References 1. Phillips E , Davids K , Renshaw I , Portus MR . Acquisition of expertise in cricket fast bowling: perceptions of expert players and coaches . J Sci Med Sport . 2014 ; 17 ( 1 ): 85 – 90 . PubMed ID: 23619161 doi:10.1016/j.jsams.2013

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The Difference in Neuromuscular Fatigue and Workload During Competition and Training in Elite Cricketers

Kieran Cooke, Tom Outram, Raph Brandon, Mark Waldron, Will Vickery, James Keenan, and Jamie Tallent

based on their bowling style. For example, spin bowlers were categorized as nonseam bowlers’ and medium to fast bowling all-rounders as seam bowlers. Ethical approval was granted prior to the start of data collection through the University of Derby Life and Sciences Ethics Committee, and the study was