More and more sports are utilising wearable tech, to keep their players at peak fitness and reduce possibility of sports injury. Rugby has been an early adopter, with every club in the Aviva Premiership using GPS units to measure speed and distance, and now cricket is set to follow.
Researchers at a leading Australian university have developed an algorithm, employing the technology behind guided missiles, to try and reduce injury and improve performance in cricket players. This so-called ‘torpedo technology’ has now been adopted by the Australian national team in advance of their test series against Sri Lanka in July.
Currently, the amount of balls that a bowler delivers is measured but not the intensity that is employed. Using missile-guiding microtechnology, including accelerometers, magnetometers and gyroscopes implanted into wearable technology, data will be gathered for a more in-depth workload analysis.
Sports injury rates in professional cricket game
Developments in professional cricket, with the introduction of T20 just over ten years ago, has meant more varied and complex demands on the player. As the cricket calendar has become more crowded, sports injury rates have risen; a study into injury rates of the Australian team found that the annual injury prevalence rates for fast bowlers exceeded 18%, with the shoulder being particularly vulnerable to injury.
Treating top-class cricketers
The team at the London Shoulder Specialists are experts in the treatment of professional cricket players. Mr Andrew Wallace, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, has treated elite athletes playing for the England and Wales national teams, as well as professional cricketers from abroad. Later this month, he will be giving a lecture on ‘Shoulder Injuries in Elite Cricketers: Prospects for Success’ at the Sports Symposium at the British Elbow and Shoulder Society. The focus of this particularly segment of the meeting, held in Dublin from 22nd to 24th June, will be on managing sports injury from the pitchside to return to play.
Mr Wallace will be focusing on SLAP tears, a shoulder injury that is common to cricketers or those that partake in overhead sports. Standing for ‘Superior Labrum Anterior and Posterior’, this is a tear to the top part of the shoulder joint, known as the labrum. It can be an incredibly painful injury and Mr Wallace employs arthroscopic surgery to visualise and successfully repair the labrum.