Short stat: in game bowling injuries
Russell Degnan

As a short refutation of the on-going nonsense that the last decade has seen a massive increase in injuries, and bowlers of the past were somehow immune, I present this graph:

This shows the percentage of innings by location that had multiple short overs in test matches - a sign that a bowler was injured. Note that Australian rates are both higher than England, peaked in the 1980s, and have been roughly similar since the 1960s - when the schedule settled in. England has exhibited similar rates since the 1970s.

It isn't clear what changed from the 1950s, although the newspapers of the time record frequent injuries. Professionalism and a reduction in the rate of playing through injuries - even if just to finish the over - is a likely cause.

The biggest change comes from the rest of the world, where injuries peaked in the 1990s. Workload is the likely reason - although the graph is per innings played, it will correlate closely to ODI matches (and therefore total playing time). There is probably no better way to show this than a team-by-team comparison. Note both the massive increase in injuries in the Indian team, and the fluctuations of Pakistan and the West Indies, as their playing schedules changed.

Cricket - Analysis 18th December, 2012 10:20:38   [#]