The relationship between bowling action classification and three-dimensional lower trunk motion in fast bowlers in cricket
Faculty of Computing, Health and Science
School of Exercise, Biomedical and Health Science
Lower back injuries, specifically lumbar stress fractures, account for the most lost playing time in professional cricket. The aims of this study were to quantify the proportion of lower trunk motion used during the delivery stride of fast bowling and to examine the relationship between the current fast bowling action classification system and potentially injurious kinematics of the lower trunk. Three-dimensional kinematic data were collected from 50 male professional fast bowlers during a standing active range of motion trial and three fast bowling trials. A high percentage of the fast bowlers used a mixed bowling action attributable to having shoulder counter-rotation greater than 30°. The greatest proportion of lower trunk extension (26%), contralateral side-flexion (129%), and ipsilateral rotation (79%) was used during the front foot contact phase of the fast bowling delivery stride. There was no significant difference in the proportions of available lower trunk extension, contralateral side-flexion, and ipsilateral rotation range of motion used during fast bowling by mixed and non-mixed action bowlers. Motion of the lower trunk, particularly side-flexion, during front foot contact, in addition to variables previously known to be related to back injury (e.g. shoulder counter-rotation), should be examined in future cross-sectional and prospective studies examining the fast bowling action and low back injury.