Khyati Gulani: Preventing Injuries in Women's Cricket | Cricket coaching, fitness and tips

Khyati Gulani: Preventing Injuries in Women's Cricket

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This is a guest article from new contributor, Khyati Gulani. Khyati is an ex-cricketer now coaching state and academy cricket in Delhi.

Women cricketers are more prone to injury than men.


A recent study at Harvard Medical School showed the gender gap in sports injuries are on the rise due to sheer lack of awareness of such problems. Structurally, women are more prone to injuries due to:

  1. Higher estrogen levels, along with less body mass and high propensity to accumulate fat leads to fragile bones and stress fracture
  2. Less powerful muscles and lose ligaments, leads to muscle injuries and spasm
  3. Wider pelvis that alters the alignment of the knee and ankle leads to knee injuries
  4. Narrow space within knee for Lower Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) to travel through
  5. Anaemia, calcium and Vitamin D deficiencies lead to lower stamina, stress fracture

So, injuries like stress fractures, knee injuries, shoulder and joint trouble and ankle sprains are likely to trouble women more than men.

The situation may be worse for Indian women. Studies show 59% of women suffer from anaemia in India. 27% women have thyroid imbalance and 76% have Vitamin D deficiencies. These are startling statistics for women who want to be athletes.

Anecdotally, look at Saina Nehwal. Saina’s feet are small for her frame. She suffers from a form of Plantar Fasciitis, a condition that is the most common form of heel pain and one that athletes are particularly susceptible to. This has made her sit out of important tournaments. Saina has since focussed on Bio-mechanics to map her movements to understand better her power and reaction forces, landing patterns and accordingly strengthen herself in the weaker areas.

Saina is lucky to have an array of trainers and expensive techniques to heal her faster. Not all athletes have this. So, the golden words remain true; prevention is better than cure. Also, starting early has its dividends. After reaching a certain age, it is difficult for an athlete to change their style of playing.

Here’s what I suggest to my players:

  1. Eat better: What you eat is 80% of what you are, thus one must focus on a balanced diet. Avoid junk at all cost and think of diet as a lifestyle rather than a forced activity. Look at natural sources of irons and use supplements under strict advice.
  2. Strengthen your lungs: Strong lungs will put in strong stamina. For people who can’t run laps fearing injuries, swimming is best alternate and better than running at times.
  3. Identify weak areas in the body and design programs to strengthen the weak areas.
  4. Focus on mental fitness: A 2008 study concluded women to be mentally and emotionally stronger than men. Use this to your advantage, ladies. Mental fitness seem to have inconspicuous benefits and must be an important aspect of your personality development
  5. Enjoy your body: Put some enjoyment into fitness, do a combination of running, biking, elliptical, Yoga and dancing! Yeah, dancing can be great source of fun and bring you out of monotone.
  6. Female athletes should do exercises which focus on lower body stability. As they should have strength in their lower body, thighs, hips and feet for the longer stride and stability.

For a female cricket player to be as fit as the male counterpart, you have to better understand your body, as early as possible, focus on the positives and enjoy the rigour.

Citations and Bibliography:

  5. Harvard Medical Journal 2015, December 03, 2015

This is a guest article from new contributor, Khyati Gulani. Khyati is an ex-cricketer now coaching state and academy cricket in Delhi.

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Great article and useful information for women to be fit and healthy in life. Thanks dear khayati