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Key members of Warwickshire’s medical back-up team were among more than 100 delegates at a two-day conference held to underline professional cricket’s commitment to stay at the cutting edge of science and medicine.

Bears first-team physiotherapist Gerhard Mostert and strength & conditioning coach Chris Armstrong mingled with other experts in their fields at the event organised by the England and Wales Cricket Board, in association with the first-class counties and other key cricketing bodies including the new Kia Super League.

It is always good to mix with others in your field and there was a really good range of speakers and subjects covered.

Gerhard Mostert

In the annual gathering, which has become well-established over the last decade, the ECB invited practitioners from around the game to discuss best practice. This year’s itinerary including topics as varied as throwing and fast-bowling to coping with bereavement and the importance of sleep.

The conference, held in Berkshire, provided much food for thought for the Bears representatives, according to Mostert.

“It was a really valuable event,” he said. “It is always good to mix with others in your field and there was a really good range of speakers and subjects covered.

“The two days provided us with a great opportunity to talk and think about what we do and the way we do it, but also introduced us to new ideas which is so important considering the pace at which the medical industry moves.”

Raph Brandon, the ECB’s Head of Science and Medicine, was delighted by the quality of presentations received from not only the external experts but also from the counties themselves.

“It’s as much about what the counties can learn from each other as from us,” he said “We have honed in on the engine room of science and medicine in cricket. The game has every right to be proud of its record in innovation, and that is something we are determined to continue.

“At the end of a demanding summer it’s a big ask for people to commit to these two days, but we are convinced it’s a worthwhile exercise, and delivers benefits to counties, England’s national teams and also this year the Kia Super League teams who were represented.”

At the end of a demanding summer it’s a big ask for people to commit to these two days, but we are convinced it’s a worthwhile exercise, and delivers benefits to counties,

Raph Brandon

Under three broad headings of Development, Innovation and Monitoring & Profiling, delegates including doctors, psychologists, physios, strength and conditioning coaches, performance analysts and nutritionists, were given the opportunity to pick and mix from a range of topics.

These included presentations on throwing performance and injury from Steve McCaig, an ECB physiotherapist who has also been working with several counties on a project relating to chronic pain.

Roy Barber, an ECB strength and conditioning specialists, shared his work on the physical characteristics of fast bowlers, Phil Scott, the England S&C coach, tackled power hitting and Alex Tysoe, Surrey’s head physiotherapist who worked with the England Lions last winter, also addressed fast bowling, specifically the monitoring of the workload involved.

Nick Peirce, the ECB’s chief medical officer, provided an update on the Concussion and Helmet Review, and David Young, the ECB Lead for Performance Psychology, discussed a novel approach for helping players perform under pressure.