‘Old wives tales’ about footwear behind Oz bowlers injury

Sunday, January 30, 2011

SYDNEY - A consultant for a leading sports shoe company has urged Cricket Australia to copy the AFL and order contracted players to wear specialised shoes after he discovered many wore modified cross-trainers.

A number of Australian pacers including Ryan Harris, Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Starc and James Pattinson are injured.

Simon Bartold, the international research consultant for Asics, discovered some players fussed more about a bat than shoes that could protect their feet and legs from injuries.

He blamed “old wives tales” about the footwear for their attitude and possibly their injuries, The Sydney Morning herald reports.

Bartold expressed his view at a time when Cricket Australia, working with sports scientists, is trying to fathom why elite pacemen, especially young ones, are being sidelined at an alarming rate through stress fractures in their lower back or feet.

Footwear is just one piece of a complex puzzle, as fast bowlers’ workloads, their training regimens, the need for speed, the impact of hard Australian wickets and individual actions are also under scrutiny, The Sydney Morning herald reports.

“There is lots of folklore about what kind of shoe a cricketer should wear, particularly a fast bowler, and we’re finding it’s hard to shift those established wisdoms,” said Bartold, who has a background in podiatry and biomechanics.

“We found a lot of bowlers take old boots or cross-trainers to the local bootmaker to add spikes. It means they’re wearing a shoe that isn’t designed for cricket, but that’s a common practice, especially at the elite level. They aren’t wearing the right boots.

“The cricket boots on the market are purpose-built for cricket and are based on good research into biomechanics and what the stresses and loading patterns are,” said Bartold.

Bartold has been preparing the results of extensive studies of cricketers for a biomechanics conference in Germany. His research, which involved Cricket Australia-contracted players wearing respiked boots, a specific fielding boot and a specific bowling boot, were not a surprise, The Sydney Morning herald reports. (ANI)

Filed under: Cricket

will not be displayed