England news July 21, 2014

Prior steps aside for the summer

ESPNcricinfo staff

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It's Prior's decision - Cook

Matt Prior has decided to stand down from Test cricket for the rest of the summer due to injury. Prior has been suffering from an Achilles problem and will have an operation to rectify the issue that has hampered his performances this season.

Prior has also been affected by quad and hand injuries and has been noticeably less mobile behind the stumps in four Tests this summer. He has only managed one half-century but his wicketkeeping has caused most concern with several missed chances and at Lord's equalling the record for most byes conceded in an innings for England.

"I'm not doing justice to myself and more importantly the team and that is what matters first and foremost," Prior told the Mirror. "I tore my quad before the first Test and my right hand has been beaten to a pulp, but the main issue is the Achilles.

"Now we have the time, I want to be pro-active about how we deal with it so I imagine that I'll have an operation. I've always said as long as I can do my job I will manage the pain and get on with it, but it has now got to the point where I can't do my job to the level I expect of myself."

Prior failed to appear in the majority of Sussex's County Championship matches at the start of the season and had kept in only one full four-day match before the first Test against Sri Lanka. During that match he made his only significant score of the summer - a first innings 86 - before becoming beset by problems against the short ball, in addition to his shortcomings behind the stumps.

Prior's absence opens the door for England's one-day wicketkeeper Jos Buttler to make his Test debut in the third Test at the Ageas Bowl, a selection there was great clamour for at the start of England's Test summer.

The arrival of Buttler could mean Prior's 79th Test cap at Lord's could be his last, even if he does manage to regain full fitness.

"It is a huge decision and not one I've taken lightly obviously because I could have played my last game," Prior said. "Playing for England is the greatest honour you can have in the game and that is my motivation to come back and try and play again in the best possible condition.

"I've made my decision for the good of the team and whoever comes in I genuinely wish them the best of luck and hope they go well and perform and help the team win. That is all I want."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • V.L on July 23, 2014, 11:43 GMT

    Am I the only one who feels Bairstow would have been a much better option?

  • John on July 22, 2014, 22:10 GMT

    @ CodandChips on (July 22, 2014, 9:26 GMT) Chappell is widely regarded as the best player never to play for England.

    @ SirViv1973 on (July 22, 2014, 9:14 GMT) I would still have gone for the best WK available - neither of the JBs. Re Ryan - yeah I know he retired. Just thought there may be a remote chance he'd want to miss out playing a few games for a well drilled/organised/probable championship winning side to play for England

  • S on July 22, 2014, 22:07 GMT

    Kudos to Prior for sticking it out for the first two tests with injury. I suppose, when your country asks you to represent them in a world stage, you tend to talk down minor injuries. Wishing him a speedy recovery. He is only 32. So a comeback isn't out of question.

  • Paulo on July 22, 2014, 17:38 GMT

    @Jose Puliampatta Prior's injuries were made public. The selectors cast a blind eye. They called up Buttler as reserve for the first test vs India.Prior always played through injury even when reserves were called up. Headingly 2009. Brisbane 2013. The Tino Best Test in 2012.

  • Dummy4 on July 22, 2014, 16:25 GMT

    I had been a supporter of Prior, and had stated many times that he was one of the most under-rated and much derided WK-Batsmen in the world cricket. Now, I am disappointed. Not at his quitting... But... for he not informing the selectors about his injuries; prior to the selection.

    Prior had prior knowledge of his injuries. And, I presume, he didn't disclose. Players may or not disclose it, like Sehwag did and let down India on an overseas tour. How about the selectors? Don't hey have any system /process to identify such cases prior to the selection? Post-facto acceptance of players' decision puts the selectors in a poor light.

    Or, did they knowingly cast a blind eye? And, partially jeopardized the team's chances? That puts them in a worse light. Selectors' everywhere seem to take such irrational decisions ! Quite shameful for such an august group of gentlemen!

  • D N on July 22, 2014, 15:33 GMT

    Good show Matt Prior. Thanks for the entertainment. Good luck for the rest of your career

  • Dummy4 on July 22, 2014, 13:24 GMT

    why not just play the whole yorkshire team, nearly all of them have been mentioned at some point, and are the best team in England by a million mile, they'd put up a better fight than most of these so called England player's, take root and balance out and who's going to score runs other than the tail?

  • Dummy4 on July 22, 2014, 12:14 GMT

    Has no-one considered bringing back Adil Rashid to hold up an end, pick up a wicket or two and score a fighting 30/40

  • Clifford on July 22, 2014, 11:38 GMT

    Torn quad, achilles problem, mangled hand? How was he on the team? on the one hand guys get dropped for uncertain reasons and on the other they hold onto some people for far too long. I know there is a desire not to go back to the bad old days of the 80-90s when there was revolving door in and out of a team but too many unfit players are being picked. The sidebar indicates there is a fair amount of talent available so why were they holding onto him for so long? Given the abuse that was being heaped on Prior by the public (who probably didn't know his injury situation) it certainly wasn't doing him any favors keeping him on while he was failing abjectly.

    England should go with the best keeper they can find, as it's the bowling/fielding they need the most help with, and if the guy has experience and can help guide Cook with the bowling and field placements so much the better.

  • Gaurav on July 22, 2014, 11:03 GMT

    There seems to something amiss in the English cricket culture. Players that have been picked are 'dropping' themselves, while those keen to play (Carberry, Compton, KP, Monty) seem to be left out apparently for reasons that have nothing to do with their performance.

    Even if Prior was carrying an injury, isn't the team physio to be held accountable? How does the player now get to unilaterally decide that he is no longer fit - surely his poor form has to do with the decision more than the injury.