County news April 15, 2013

Prince finds solace at Lancashire

Tim Wigmore

Ashwell Prince has accepted that his Test career has "well and truly passed" as he focuses on satisfying finale to his first-class career with Lancashire.

Price believes he remains "good enough to play Test cricket" but he has not played a Test since South Africa lost to Sri Lanka in Durban in December 2011, their last defeat before they embarked upon a 15-match unbeaten run which took them to No 1 in the world

Lancashire signed him as a Kolpak player in March after Cricket South Africa decided against renewing his contract, so seemingly bringing to an end a Test career which consisted of 66 Tests and 3665 runs at 41.64.

"It's not really me who has made that decision to retire from international cricket," Prince said. It's been almost 18 months since I last played a Test match and I think, if I'm being realistic, those days have well and truly passed.

"I don't have anything to prove to anyone back home. I still think I'm good enough to play Test cricket. My record is there and if people don't have the belief in me anymore then there's nothing more I can do. I'm here and I'm committed to playing for Lancashire."

Prince previously represented Lancashire as an overseas player in 2009, 2010 and last season, and so far scored over 2000 first-class runs for them at an average of 46. He began the new season with 95 against Worcestershire.

"Having played here as a youngster in the leagues and being used to the surroundings I have a good relationship with the squad and outside of cricket," he said. "I think it's important to be in an environment that you feel comfortable in and that's how I feel when I'm here.

"At the time in my career when people started doubting my abilities, Lancashire were there to give me an opportunity. I just feel I had to pay them back with some loyalty. "I've got two years to run on my contract and I'm not getting any younger. I'll be 36 next month so I'll be 37 at the end of the contract. We'll see how the body is after that."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Tim on April 17, 2013, 16:27 GMT

    May have to work on his fitness judging from that photo

  • greig on April 16, 2013, 8:43 GMT

    Prince would walk into the Australia team at the moment. Mind you my nana could too..

  • greig on April 16, 2013, 7:39 GMT

    Prince is good enough to play test cricket but we have to conscious blooding in new talent and giving opportunity to others coming through.

  • Keiran on April 16, 2013, 5:26 GMT

    Although with JP out we may still be searching for the ideal 6 and 7 I think an average of 41 is at least 5 or 6 short of what we would like. You know what you have in Prince but while things are going well you might as well find out what you have in guys like Du Plessis and Elgar. And no - 5 or 6 tests is not enough to make a call for all those who seem to be turning against Elgar already. We all know what kallis did in his first 8 to 10 tests.

    I'm not 100% certain about Alviro yet either. But he seems to be growing into the role with time and apart from Elgar noone has been knocking the door down at franchise level so I guess he gets another few series to impress.

  • Craig on April 15, 2013, 16:14 GMT

    *Prince has been a faithful servant to the game in SA, and probably deserved to have had the option to retire from international cricket, but such is the life of a pro sportsperson. He has always been loved in SA and always will be. He has made the right choice though, and shouldn't discount a call up in an emergency. Another saffi flying the flag in another country, doing us proud, and sharing his wisdom and experience to others. Thank goodness no one has attempted to say he was left out because of his race. Yet.

  • philip on April 15, 2013, 11:22 GMT

    He is certainly good enough to play for Australia. And he is on a par with the guys who have been batting 6 and 7 in recent tests for SA but I guess his age is against him. I hope he succeeds in the county game.

  • Henk on April 15, 2013, 11:01 GMT

    Maybe better than Elgar, but when Duminy is back no space open for him.

  • Ross on April 15, 2013, 8:50 GMT

    Yes he's still good enough. But not better than anyone else in the SA team.