Fast bowlers are warned to limit overs

The results of a survey looking into the welfare of cricketers in Australia has revealed that fast bowlers significantly increase their chances of injury when they bowl more than 20 to 30 overs a week.

The results of a survey looking into the welfare of cricketers in Australia has revealed that fast bowlers significantly increase their chances of injury when they bowl more than 20 to 30 overs a week.

The report, which looked at Australian Test, one-day and first-class matches between 1998 and 2003, said that on average one in every six fast bowlers would be out through injury at any given time. It also found out that they were twice as likely as other members of their team to pick up an injury.

A statement from Cricket Australia, the game's governing body in Australia, said: "The research determined that strike bowlers significantly increased their risk of injury when their weekly bowling tally strays above 20 to 30 overs. Should a bowler bowl above this threshold, they are well advised to adjust their training schedule accordingly so the stresses and strains of fast bowling are allowed to recover."

This news would come as little surprise to any cricketer who has attempted to bowl fast for a living. Running in hard and propelling a leather ball down a pitch at 85mph is physically demanding. Fast bowlers are aware of the risks and accept injury as an occupational hazard.

The concern, however, is that the safety threshold has been set at such a low level. Twenty overs would only be considered a reasonable day's work to a seasoned bowler. He would expect to bowl somewhere in the region of 40 to 50 overs during the five days of a Test match.

It is unlikely that the findings of Cricket Australia will shock England's selectors either. David Graveney, the chairman of selectors, will take comfort from the fact that his panel are not the only ones to have problems but these statistics highlight why something needs to be done about the volume of international cricket being played.

During the last 14 months South Africa have been the only side who have consistently fielded the same fast bowlers. Australia have had to do without the services of Glenn McGrath, Brett Lee and Jason Gillespie during their recent Test series against India, who were themselves deprived of Zaheer Khan and Ashish Nehra.

England, however, seem to have been the worst hit. During this period they have been forced to select 16 different fast bowlers in 17 Test matches. Stephen Harmison has been their fittest bowler but the Durham paceman has only played in 11 matches.

Former fast bowlers, who used to bowl 1,000 overs each summer and never gripe, will pour scorn on this study. They will again call the modern cricketer soft and pampered. But, judging by the way most of them hobble around cricket grounds now and ask for help walking up stairs, they too may have benefited from their workload being monitored when they played.

The findings, however, will change little. Staging international matches generates money and each cricket board wants as much of it as they can get their hands on. The only way out would be to set limits on the amount of games a cricketer can play in a calendar year.

The England and Wales Cricket Board could then agree to play in as many back-to-back Test matches or one-day internationals - which are a ridiculous demand on a player - as they like. They would, however, for example, have to accept that Michael Vaughan is only available for 15 Test matches and 30 one-day internationals.

Life & Style
Sampling wine in Turin
food + drink...and abstaining may be worse than drinking too much, says scientist
Arts & Entertainment
Game of Thrones writer George R.R. Martin has been working on the novels since the mid-Nineties
books
Sport
Jose Mourinho, Chelsea players celebrate Demba Ba's goal and Gus Poyet
sportLive coverage of today's final game between Chelsea and Sunderland
News
Easter a dangerous time for dogs
these are the new ones. Old ones are below them... news
VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
News
Brand said he
people
Sport
Roger Federer celebrates his victory over Novak Djokovic in the Monte Carlo Masters
sport
Arts & Entertainment
Kingdom Tower
architecture
Voices
Actor Zac Efron
voicesTopless men? It's as bad as Page 3, says Howard Jacobson
Arts & Entertainment
The monster rears its head as it roars into the sky
film
Voices
For the Love of God (2007) The diamond-encrusted skull that divided the art world failed to sell for
its $100m asking price. It was eventually bought by a consortium
which included the artist himself.
voicesYou can shove it, Mr Webb – I'll be having fun until the day I die, says Janet Street-Porter
Sport
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain drives in the rain during the qualifying session of the Chinese Formula One Grand Prix in Shanghai
sport
Extras
indybestFake it with 10 best self-tanners
Arts & Entertainment
Madonna in her music video for 'Like A Virgin'
music... and other misheard song lyrics
News
Much of the colleges’ land is off-limits to locals in Cambridge, with tight security
educationAnd has the Cambridge I knew turned its back on me?
Sport
Steven Gerrard had to be talked into adopting a deeper role by his manager, Brendan Rodgers
sportThe city’s fight for justice after Hillsborough is embodied in Steven Gerrard, who's poised to lead his club to a remarkable triumph
News
peopleOrlando Bloom the pin-up hero is making a fresh start
News
Who makes you happy?
happy listSend your nominations now for the Independent on Sunday Happy List
Life & Style
The North Korean TV advert for Taedonggang beer, that became a YouTube hit
food + drinkAnd what did it take to set up a taste test back in Wiltshire?
Arts & Entertainment
filmLife for Leslie Mann's can be challenging sometimes
Voices
For music lovers: John Cusack with his vinyl collection in 'High Fidelity'
voices...but don't forget rest of the year
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe: Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe

Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC
Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'

British Muslims's Happy video attacked as 'sinful'

The four-minute clip by Honesty Policy has had more than 300,000 hits on YouTube
Church of England-raised Michael Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith

Michael Williams: Do as I do, not as I pray

Church of England-raised Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife
Comedian Jenny Collier: 'Sexism I experienced on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

Jenny Collier: 'Sexism on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

The comedian's appearance at a show on the eve of International Women's Day was cancelled because they had "too many women" on the bill
Cannes Film Festival: Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or

Cannes Film Festival

Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
The concept album makes surprise top ten return with neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson

The concept album makes surprise top ten return

Neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson is unexpected success
Lichen is the surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus, thanks to our love of Scandinavian and Indian cuisines

Lichen is surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus

Emily Jupp discovers how it can give a unique, smoky flavour to our cooking
10 best baking books

10 best baking books

Planning a spot of baking this bank holiday weekend? From old favourites to new releases, here’s ten cookbooks for you
Jury still out on Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini

Jury still out on Pellegrini

Draw with Sunderland raises questions over Manchester City manager's ability to motivate and unify his players
Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

The all-rounder has been hailed as future star after Ashes debut but incident in Caribbean added to doubts about discipline. Jon Culley meets a man looking to control his emotions
Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

The most prize money ever at an All-Weather race day is up for grabs at Lingfield on Friday, and the record-breaking trainer tells Jon Freeman how times have changed
Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail'

As the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian tells James Rampton why he'll never bow to the critics who habitually circle his work
Mad Men series 7, TV review: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge

Mad Men returns for a final fling

The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground as there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit

Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground

Technology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit