Ahead of the latest LV= Insurance County Championship victory over Essex, the Bears squad learned more about what it takes to achieve success at the highest level of the game from former England and Sussex wicket-keeper/batsman Matt Prior.

Having won the Ashes three times and been a key member of the England team that went top of the ICC World Test rankings in 2011, and winning multiple domestic trophies across all formats with Sussex, Prior joined the Bears for the two days of training ahead of the clash with the champions and gave a talk to the players.

“I have a load of great memories of Edgbaston,” said Prior. “Playing Australia, playing India and going top of the world rankings. It’s a fantastic venue and ground and it was wonderful to be visiting again to meet the Warwickshire squad.

“It felt like coming home. Being back in that dressing room environment, talking about the game I love, being able to share experiences, good and bad. Talking about the bad experiences and how to overcome challenges is key and hopefully I gave some useful advice that can help the Bears players in the future.

“There’s a young, talented group of players who are very exciting and very motivated to stamp their mark on a new era for Warwickshire cricket. With the guidance of someone like Mark Robinson and senior players like Tim Bresnan, the winning culture welcome can become ingrained. If you put young talent and a winning culture together with some strong leaders, you’re on to something really special.”

Matt Prior

Prior is well known to Warwickshire men’s First Team Coach Mark Robinson, having initially been a Sussex teammate who subsequently became coach to the South Coast team that enjoyed an unprecedented period of success in the mid-2000s.

“I know Robbo very well. He was one of my first roommates when I came into the professional game and then he became coach at Sussex, so I was delighted to help out and meet the Warwickshire squad.

“He was a consummate professional as a player. Before our period of huge success, there was a lot of building that we did in developing our culture and in bringing together a mix of experienced, hardened senior professionals with a group of talented youngsters.

“As a coach he’s also created an experience that brought a lot of success and I don’t doubt that he will do the same at Warwickshire.”

Since his playing career was curtailed by injury, Prior has spent time in business, in particularly the commercial side of sport, and would relish an opportunity to get back into cricket.

“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed that last five years in being able to see the world and broaden my skills and experience in business. I would love to combine this experience with my cricket skillset and get back into the game.

“I was very fortunate in my career to play in some very successful teams, whether that was county or with England. A lot of that was focused on building a winning culture, so hopefully I have something to add with that regard.”

Commenting on the visit, Mark Robinson said: “We were very lucky to have three individuals who have achieved success at the very highest level of the game with us at training for last week’s Championship match with Essex in Tim Bresnan, Jonathan Trott and Matt.

“However, their success wasn’t achieved instantly. All three were part of county and international teams that had to overcome many challenges and develop as a squad before they started winning consistently.

“Matt hasn’t played for Warwickshire or know many of the players, so he gave a fresh, balanced opinion of our progress whilst also giving a very insightful talk and supporting in training. The more that we can tap into the experience of people like Matt, who give an outside opinion and share their experience of what it takes to overcome challenges and develop, the more our players will benefit

Mark Robinson

“We’re incredibly grateful to Matt for coming to Edgbaston to join us for the two days of pre-match training for the Essex game. He’s an excellent man and it’s great to see someone with his skills and experience getting back into the game.”

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