The influence of upper-body mechanics, anthropometry and isokinetic strength on performance in wrist-spin cricket bowling

Wayne Spratford, Bruce Elliott, Nicholas Brown, Jacqueline Alderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Delivering a cricket ball with a wrist-spin (WS) bowling technique is considered one of the game’s most difficult skills. Limited biomechanical information exists for WS bowlers across skill levels. The purpose of this study was to compare biomechanical, isokinetic strength and anthropometric measures between
elite (12) and pathway bowlers (eight). Data were collected using a motion analysis system, dynamometer and a level-two anthropometrist. A regression analysis identified that performance was best explained by increased wrist radial deviation torque and longitudinal axis rotational moments at the shoulder and
wrist. From back foot impact (BFI) to ball release (BR), elite bowlers rotated their trunks less, experienced less trunk deceleration resulting in a more front-on position and increased pelvis rotation angular velocity. They also displayed an increased shoulder internal rotation moment as the upper arm moved
from external into internal rotation and was a major contributor in the subsequent differences observed in the distal segments of the bowling limb. Anthropometric differences were observed at the wrist and
finger joints and may be used to form the basis for talent identification programmes. This study highlights the important contribution to bowling performance of the musculature responsible for producing long
axis rotations of the bowling limb.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1
Pages (from-to)280-287
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Sports Sciences
Issue number3
Early online date27 Nov 2019
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2020


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