Anatomical and functional based upper limb models: methods for kinematic analysis of cricket spin bowling

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    [Truncated abstract] In cricket, the bowler propels a ball using a straight arm (permitted minimal extension) in an overhead fashion to a batsman situated approximately 20m away, who attempts to strike the ball in order to score runs for their team. Cricket bowling can be generalised by two types of bowlers; fast bowlers, who primarily use high ball speed, and spin bowlers that attempt to impart spin on the ball causing it to bounce in different directions. There has been numerous studies investigating the kinematics of fast bowling in cricket, but there is a paucity of objective literature on the spin bowling action due to the complex rotations of the upper limb necessary to develop ball velocity and rotation. One primary reason is that three dimensional (3D) analysis of upper limb movement is difficult due to the high degrees of freedom and ranges of motion of the associated joints. Furthermore, existing methods do not allow measurement of the kinematics of this highly dynamic task to be performed in an ecologically sound environment. The complexity is further compounded as the upper limb does not perform regular cyclical movements like the lower limb does with gait. Therefore, this makes it difficult to determine what "normal" upper limb patterns of movement are during activities of daily living. Methods and procedures can be performed to reduce the variability associated with 3D analysis of upper limb movements and in doing so, improve the quality of upper limb assessment. Previous methods have used anatomical landmarks to identify segments and the position and orientation of these segments with respect to each other whilst other approaches have utilised functional movements of the joints to determine axes of rotation. This second approach may improve analysis by reducing the error and variability associated with more traditional methods of placing markers on anatomical landmarks to determine joint kinematics. Therefore, the primary aim of this research was to develop and validate a functionally based 2 degree-of-freedom upper limb model using a mean finite helical axis method (HAM) to measure rotations of the forearm using a marker based approach. ... Data between the playing levels and the two delivery types were analysed. From the anatomical data collected, the elite players displayed more forearm abduction (carry angle) and fixed elbow flexion. Higher ball velocity and a greater amount of ball rotation were recorded for the elite group when bowling the off-break. A greater amount of pelvic rotation by the elite group recorded high effect size. The elite group also displayed a greater range of elbow extension between the period upper arm horizontal and ball release which may be highly related to the higher ball spin and velocity. In comparison to the off-break delivery, the "doosra" was characterized by larger ranges of shoulder horizontal rotation, elbow and wrist extension. Furthermore, the lower ball release height and longer stride length measured when bowling the "doosra" were significantly different, with high effect sizes for the measured variables pelvis rotation and elbow extension. This study provides an initial quantitative analysis of the finger-spin bowling action having established several characteristics that differentiate between off-break deliveries of elite and first class players. Likewise, kinematic variations between the off-break and "doosra" deliveries have been measured.
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    • Alderson, Jacqueline, Supervisor
    • Elliott, Bruce, Supervisor
    • Lloyd, David, Supervisor
    Publication statusUnpublished - 2009


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