Cricket is not just a sport in India, it is an emotion that holds a special place in our hearts and serves as a source of inspiration. Our love for cricket has made players go from playing street cricket to representing the country and it is our national pride. However, cricket is a physically demanding sport that requires strength, endurance, and agility. While, it is fun and rewarding to play it comes with risk of injuries. These injuries are caused because many young athletes are still developing physically and are learning the techniques of the game. Some common pains and injuries that young athletes suffer from are:
Lower back pain
Lower back pain is a common complaint for young cricket players especially bowlers. The repetitive motions like bending and rotating puts a lot of stress on the lower back muscles and spine leading to pain and discomfort.
Hamstring strains and pain occurs when the muscles in the back of the thigh are stretched or torn. Cricketers are at risk of hamstring strains due to the running and jumping involved in the sport.
Shoulder injuries are common in cricket players who bowl or throw frequently. Overuse can cause shoulder tendons to become inflamed or torn, resulting in pain, weakness, and limited mobility.
Ankle sprains are common in most sports, and cricket is no different. Running at high speeds, as well as shifts in momentum and sudden stopping can all cause ankle sprains.
Jumper’s knee, medically known as Patellar tendinitis is a common injury in cricket players who jump frequently, such as fielders. It causes caused pain and tenderness in the knee.
Contusions are caused by a direct impact to the muscle, in cricket commonly by the ball. This results in swelling and bruising of the area and can vary in severity
It is important for cricket players to take proper precautions to avoid or reduce cricket injuries. Taking appropriate measures help players in enjoying and exceling at the sport. Some of the ways to prevent cricket injuries are:
Warm-up and cool-down
Always begin each cricket practice or game with a proper warm-up and end with a cool-down. A good warm-up will help to loosen the muscles and prepare the body for physical activity, while a cool-down will help to reduce muscle soreness and prevent injury.
Use proper equipment
Players should use appropriate equipment, including a properly fitting helmet, pads, gloves, and shoes. The equipment should be regularly inspected for wear and tear and replaced as necessary.
Proper technique is crucial in preventing injuries in cricket. Follow the instructions of your coach while bowling, batting, or fielding. Improper techniques can put excessive stress on the body and increase the risk of injury.
Strengthen core muscles
Core strength is essential in cricket and can help prevent injuries. Young cricketers should perform exercises that strengthen their core muscles, such as planks and bridges.
Staying hydrated is important for maintaining good health and preventing injuries. Young cricketers drink plenty of water before, during, and after games and practices.
Rest and recovery
Cricketers should be given adequate time to rest and recover after games and practices. This allows the body to recover from any injuries and reduces the risk of future injuries.
In addition to the above, athletes can perform exercises to avoid and reduce injuries. Some of these exercises are:
Squats are an excellent exercise for building lower body strength, which is crucial in cricket. This exercise targets the quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes.
Lunges are another great exercise for building lower body strength and improving balance.
Push-ups are a classic exercise for building upper body strength and improving core stability.
Planks are an excellent exercise for building core strength, which is essential in cricket.
Agility drills such as cone drills or ladder drills are great for improving footwork and reaction time.
Running is an excellent exercise for building endurance and improving cardiovascular health.
Preventing injuries in Cricketers involves a combination of proper technique, warm-up, and appropriate equipment. While injury and pain are an integral part of the game it helps to keep an effective pain relief solution handy in your kit. One of the essential items to put in your first aid to managing mild to moderate muscle pain and stiffness is Zandu Fast Relief Spray. Made with active natural ingredients, and usually recommended by physiotherapists* Zandu Fast Relief Spray has Turbo Action Formula that gives instant pain relief from pain. However, if the pain persists, athletes should consult doctors or physiotherapists to determine further course of action.
* Based on study conducted by Kantar among 102 physiotherapists in September 2021.