Cricket is a popular game in Commonwealth countries, injuries in this game can be associated with three aspects of the game: bowling, batting or fielding. Radiologists should know the different kind of injuries related to this game for a better clinical association. Injuries can range from a musculotendinous sprain to fractures, depending on the severity of mechanism.
Hamstring strain is cited the most common injury associated with professional level cricket, with a particular spike in incidence during seasons of increased 'short formed' games; due to the relatively more fast-paced nature of the game compared to that of test cricket.
Risk factors include 3:
- specialty position
- fast bowlers have a 20.6% injury rate compared to 12.5% for the average player
- the length of the game
- 50 over games have the highest rate of player injury
Batting mainly involves flexor, and pronator teres muscles, and thus sprains are usually common in these muscles. However, 'pull' or 'overhead' shots often seen shorter, more aggressive game such as 'One-Day International' can cause rotator cuff or labral injuries. 'Crossed bat cut' or 'pull shots' can cause more stress to the pronator teres 2.
Bowling is most commonly implicated in cricket-associated injuries. The spectrum of injury ranges from hamstring, groin to back/spine injuries. Fast paced bowlers also suffer from rotator cuff injuries due to overhead bowling action.
Fielding can be associated with musculotendinous sprains, ligament tears to fractures depending on the level of impact.
Type of injuries
- hamstring strain
- stress fracture in the ankle
- adductor strain
- rotator cuff and labral injuries
- pronator teres injury 2
- medial epicondylitis
- ulnar neuritis
- posteromedial impingement
- anterior cruciate ligament tear
- medial collateral ligament sprain
- acute disc prolapse
- thyroid cartilage fracture
Grading of musculotendinous injury
Musculotendinous injury has been graded by Bencardino et al. 1 as:
- grade 1 (stretch injury): interstitial oedema and haemorrhage giving a 'feathery appearance' on MRI
- grade 2 (partial tear): partial tear without retraction at musculotendinous junction
- grade 3 (complete tear): complete rupture of the musculotendinous junction, mostly with retraction
- 1. Bencardino JT, Rosenberg ZS, Brown RR et-al. Traumatic musculotendinous injuries of the knee: diagnosis with MR imaging. Radiographics. 2000;20 Spec No (suppl 1): S103-20. Radiographics (full text) - Pubmed citation
- 2. Hannah Z. Niebulski and Michael L. Richardson, MD. High-grade pronator teres tear in a cricket batsman. Radiology Case Reports 2011; Vol 6, No. 3
- 3. John W Orchard, Alex Kountouris, Kevin Sims. Incidence and prevalence of elite male cricket injuries using updated consensus definitions. Open Access Journal of Sports Medicine. Volume 7: 187. doi:10.2147/OAJSM.S117497