High Acute: Chronic Workloads are Associated with Injury in England & Wales Cricket Board Development Programme Fast Bowlers

Anna Warren, Sean Williams, Steve McGraig, Grant Trewartha

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Objectives The objectives of this study were to explore the relationship between acute (1 week) and chronic (4-week average) bowling workloads and injury risk in National Development Programme fast bowlers, and to investigate individual differences in the relationship between acute:chronic workloads and injury. Design Prospective cohort study. Methods Bowling workloads and injury data were collected prospectively for 29 male fast bowlers (age range 15–18) on a National Programme over two years. Workload variables were calculated and the likelihood of injury and individual effects were explored using a generalised linear mixed effects model and magnitude-based inferences. Results Acute:chronic workloads of 109–142% (relative risk [RR]: 1.46, 90% CI: 0.93–2.29; likely harmful), and ≥142% (RR: 1.66, 90% CI: 1.06–2.59, likely harmful) were associated with a substantial increase in injury risk compared with the reference quartile (<87%). A high chronic workload (>83 balls) substantially attenuated the influence of a high (>108%) acute:chronic workload ratio on injury risk (RR: 0.35, 90% CI: 0.17–0.74). Significant individual differences in the acute:chronic workload-injury relationship were evident. Conclusions The present study provides further evidence of the association between 'spikes’ in workload and injury risk, but also demonstrates that this relationship is individual-specific and dependent on the level of chronic workload. Support teams for fast bowlers should monitor bowling workloads to avoid rapid fluctuations but should also base decisions on individualised data.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)40-45
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Science and Medicine in Sport
Issue number1
Early online date14 Jul 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018


  • Cricket bowling
  • Cricket injures
  • Individuality
  • Male
  • Sports
  • Workload

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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