Cricket is a very common game known to everyone. It is a game that involves the physical engagement or involvement of the player depending upon his role in the team. Although, during this game, all the body parts are susceptible to injury there are some parts of the body that are more vulnerable to injuries such as the lower back, hamstrings, shoulder, and ankle. The chances of injury may vary according to the position of the player in the field. Moreover, the T20 matches, which are more intense and played in a short duration, results in a significant increase in injuries due to more load on the players. There are various ways by which the player can get hurt, and simultaneously there are ways to manage and reduce the risk of these injuries by doing proper exercises. These exercises can be done under the guidance of a physiotherapist, who can help you to identify weak spots through a musculoskeletal screening, and thus help you to recover. So, let's take a look at some of the most common injuries and their prevention strategies.


Prevention of cricket injuries

Although many injuries in this game are not entirely preventable, there are some prevention strategies such as warm-up or cool down, proper conditioning, and maintaining strength that the player can follow to reduce the risk of injury.


Warm-up and cool-down exercises:

Warm-up and cool-down exercises should be done as a routine. Warm-up includes dynamic exercises, these should be done pre-session, and cool down includes static stretches, which should be done after the game. Doing pre and post-session exercises can reduce the risk of muscle strains.


Strengthening exercises:

Strengthening exercises can reduce the risk of injury. Core stability training is particularly useful for bowlers, as it can help reduce the risk of low back pain and side strains.


Most Common injuries in cricket players are:


Rotator cuff injuries

The shoulder is the most mobile joint in the body, it has an amazing range of motion. Rotator cuff injuries occur due to overhead movement during bowling, throwing, fielding, and wicket-keeping.

In case of injury, your physiotherapist recommends the POLICE principle:

·   Protection: This includes initially resting the injured part and after a few days starting gentle motion.

·   Optimum Loading:  This Starts with a passive range of motion (PROM) followed by an active range of motion (AROM).

·   Ice: Applying ice for 10 minutes every hour.

·   Compression: Compression bandages of the injured part if possible.

·   Elevation: Elevation of the injured area while sitting down or lying to increase blood flow to the area.

Your physiotherapist designs an exercise program that can help you to prevent the recurrence of any shoulder injury and improve the overall performance. Your physiotherapist will also guide you for appropriate loading of the joint and rest, following a shoulder injury.


Hamstring strains

A hamstring strain is usually caused when the muscles become overloaded, leading to a strain, or a complete tear. The severity of the hamstring strain ranges from a minor strain that may feel like an ache, or a major strain that is extremely painful making it difficult to walk or stand. Hamstrings are usually injured during sprinting i.e during fast bowling while fielding or running between wickets as a batsman. The player feels a sudden or severe pain during exercise, pain or tightness while straightening or bending the leg, and weight-bearing. Physiotherapy treatment starts by POLICE principle followed by progressive strengthening through exercise, soft tissue massage, scar tissue mobilization, dry needling, and taping. And helps to enhance healing and prevent a recurrence.


Ankle sprains

An ankle sprain is a common injury in cricket. The ankle becomes stressed when the player suddenly stops or runs at high speed causing the ankle to bend further crossing the limit.  Initial treatment includes the POLICE principle and follow-up with a physiotherapist to promote recovery. An exercise program can help to increase ankle mobility and strength hence preventing reoccurrence. Depending on the severity, your physiotherapist may decide to provide you with bracing, taping, strapping, or crutches to assist in the protection of the ligaments allowing appropriate healing. Soft tissue therapy, joint mobilization, and dry needling can also be used as a pain treatment for quicker recovery.


Abdominal side strain

Side strain occurs in the side of the body involving the Oblique muscle, commonly seen in bowlers. Due to the forcible contraction of the muscle the injury occurs on the opposite side of the bowling arm. Side strains also occur because of repetitive arm action. The player feels pain and tenderness associated with internal swelling.

Treatment requires adequate rest. After examination of the injured part, for appropriate strength and conditioning, the player can gradually return to activity,



In cricket direct impact on the muscle is commonly caused by the ball, this injury is known as contusions. The faster the speed of the ball that hits the player more severe the injury is, resulting in swelling and bruising of the area.

The POLICE principle is recommended for treatment, and medical assistance may be required

for more severe contusions.


Medial epicondylitis

Medial epicondylitis or throwers elbow is caused due to the repetitive strain of throwing a cricket ball. The player feels the weakness of the wrist and pain on the inside of the elbow. Physiotherapy treatment starts with the POLICE principle, followed by exercise regime and prevention.


Low back pain

Low back pain is very common in fast bowlers, due to the long periods of repetitive actions when bowling or batting to diving for the wicket. The player feels pain and inflammation as a result of overstretching of a ligament of the lumbar spine. Application of ice and rest is the best treatment for lumbar pain followed by exercises.


Lumbar Stress Fractures

Lumbar stress fractures are commonly seen in fast bowlers. Bowling, batting, and some fielding positions can strain the spine. Excessive shoulder rotation, excessive sideways trunk flexion, and greater pelvic rotation can cause a lumbar stress fracture. Huge forces and unavoidable repetition in fast bowling can cause a lumbar stress fracture.

The treatment part focuses on load management and appropriate recovery between bowling sessions. A physiotherapist does a thorough assessment and identifies any imbalance or technique issues. An exercise program is recommended to aid recovery and help to improve bowling performance.


Groin injuries

The hip flexor and adductor muscles are injured during batting, bowling, leaping, and running or while moving the thigh upwards or moving the leg across the body. Repetitive movement or quick movement can result in injury to muscle fibers and put pressure on the hip joint surfaces and bony attachments.

The physiotherapist examines the muscle strength and movement control, to identify why the problem has occurred and helps in the prevention. Recommends pre-season drills and strengthening exercises.


Wrist and hand injuries

Bones, joints, tendons, ligaments, and nerves of cricketers are injured due to the impact of playing with a heavy ball traveling at different speeds. Physiotherapists do examination and provide management with compression and ice stabilizes the joints and bones with taping and bracing.

Other injuries like Knee injuries and Head, neck, facial injuries are less common than other injuries, but it is important to note the potential for varied knee injuries in cricket. Compulsory protective headgear while batting has decreased the incidence of such injuries significantly. Those fielding close to batsmen often wears a helmet for protection and in front of the crease wear helmets for protection.


The physiotherapist works closely with the cricket fraternity to identify and analyze the risk factors. He/she helps to minimize the risk factors and progress exercises to help the player safely return to sport. If injuries occur, physiotherapy can help with effective strengthening, conditioning, and fitness strategies to improve muscular balance thus the player can return to the game as soon as possible.