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Quantification of bowling workload and changes in cognitive function in elite fast bowlers in training compared with twenty20 cricket.BACKGROUND:Bowling overs are the primary recorded measure for workloads in cricket for youth through to professionals. However, the validity of this measure has never been tested. Additionally, despite the cognitive component of cricket being suggested to be very high, changes in psychomotor processing speed has again not been explored. METHODS:Eight professional English county cricket bowlers participated in the study. Participants wore global positioning systems with a tri-axial accelerometer during a Twenty20 match and training. Bowling overs were expressed relative to external forces. Additionally, cognitive function (as measured by psychomotor speed) was assessed pre and post Twenty20 game and training. RESULTS:When expressed relative to high intensity running distance or external forces from the tri-axial accelerometer, the cost of each over (6 deliveries) was over 100% higher in a Twenty20 game compared to training. Psychomotor speed was unchanged although error within the cognitive task increased post Twenty20 (391 ± 82 to 547 to 104 ms) and training (414 ± 110 to 561 to 238 ms). This data suggests that reaction time is unchanged from cricket but the chance of making the correct decision is increased. CONCLUSIONS:Movements in fielding should be quantified or bowling workloads adjusted to account for the high intensity fielding associated with Twenty20 cricket. Cognitive function was impaired following bowling, suggesting practitioners may also monitor psychomotor changes when assessing fatigue and allow appropriate time to mentally recover.