Cricket Australia devises new guidelines to curb injuries to fast bowlers
Cricket Australia’s new guidelines come after new studies in sports science have revealed that more than the volume being bowled by a bowler, what is important to monitor is the frequency at which he bowls those deliveriescricket Updated: Aug 19, 2017 23:41 IST
Cricket Australia (CA) has devised a new method in order to curb the growing number of injuries suffered by young fast bowlers by restricting them to bowl “enough” and not go overboard in sessions. As part of its change in emphasis, the body will now ensure that a bowler bowls only a certain number of deliveries and try and hit his mark than making him bowl longer spells.
However, while sports science still stands by the certain number of deliveries to be bowled by a young bowler in a week, new studies have revealed that it’s not the volume that affects one’s fitness, but it’s more to do with the frequency at which the bowler has been delivering them.
Hence, either short spells or enough rest between two spells is now being focused on by Cricket Australia that has seen Mitchell Johnson, Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins and James Pattinson all suffering back injuries in their earlier years.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the body feels that a change in routine would not just help the resilience of the players but also prevent bone injuries towards the latter part of one’s career.
“We’re thinking during that developmental stage if you give the bone a hint of loading on one day, we know physiologically it needs some hours, days to repair itself, just like muscles do,” CA’s sports science and sports medicine manager Alex Kountouris told Fairfax Media.
“When you go to a gym and feel sore the next day, that’s the muscle repairing itself and making itself bigger and stronger for the next session. Bone does the same thing, you just don’t get bone pain so you don’t feel it,” he further added.
“If you bowl 150 balls in a week, you’re better off bowling them in three or four sessions rather than five or six. Having that time to recover between sessions is valuable. We’re hoping the bones become stronger and more resilient by taking this approach.”
Former Australia pacer Johnson had criticised the role of sports science last year, stating that although Cricket Australia have been using it for the past decade, nothing seems to have improved the fitness levels of a young cricketer. Kountouris, too, agreed that cricketers would still be vulnerable to injuries during their early years but said that the new routine would help them to create a “higher threshold” during that period.
“We’re hoping you maximise the strength of the bone during the developmental phase,” Kountouris said. “Thats the fundamental difference between a 17-year-old and a 28-year-old – their bones have hardened up and they can tolerate a lot more. If we get them as pristine as possible we’ll get them through their whole career.”
First Published: Aug 19, 2017 14:01 IST