Comparison of biomechanical characteristics between male and female elite fast bowlers

This study investigated ball release speed and performance kinematics between elite male and female cricket fast bowlers. Fifty-five kinematic parameters were collected for 20 male and 20 female elite fast bowlers. Group means were analysed statistically using an independent samples approach to identify differences. Significant differences were found between: ball release speed; run-up speed; the kinematics at back foot contact (BFC), front foot contact (FFC), and ball release (BR); and the timings between these key instants. These results indicate that the female bowlers generated less whole body linear momentum during the run-up than the males. The male bowlers also utilised a technique between BFC and FFC which more efficiently maintained linear momentum compared to the females. As a consequence of this difference in linear momentum at FFC, the females typically adopted a technique more akin to throwing where ball release speed was contributed to by both the whole body angular momentum and the large rotator muscles used to rotate the pelvis and torso segments about the longitudinal axis. This knowledge is likely to be useful in the coaching of female fast bowlers although future studies are required to understand the effects of anthropometric and strength constraints on fast bowling performance.