England news May 13, 2013

Team man Prior celebrates own success

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Matt Prior has increasingly been hailed as England's ultimate team man, but for once he is celebrating an individual achievement. Prior has been named as England's cricketer of the year and received his award at a celebratory dinner in the Long Room at Lord's.

It was fitting that a player who symbolises the importance of the common cause should look slightly guilty about receiving the award. "It was fantastic when I found out, a huge honour to be singled out as player of the year," he said. "But I feel slightly uncomfortable with it because individual accolades are not really the reason I play. I want this team to win. I get much more out of the group winning a Test or series."

Prior, the first wicketkeeper to win the award, judged by members of the England cricket media, likes the idea that it is in some way recognition of his team ethic.

"I hope so although I've not really given it much thought. What I would say is anytime I go out to play an innings the first thing I need to do is to get into the best position to win or save a game, or think what do I need to do to get the scoreboard in the right place, rather than how many runs do I need to average 50 - I can't just perform like that.

"There have been times in the past where people have said you need to look after that bit, or get more not-outs, I just can do it. I'm not saying I'm the ultimate team player; it's just the way I play sport - to win. That's where I get the enjoyment from."

There were many persuasive reasons to vote for Prior as England's player of the year. The most emotional justification arose from memories of his defiant hundred in Auckland to save the third Test against New Zealand and salvage a drawn series.

But there were broader reasons, too. There was the knowledge that he is the only England batsman apart from the captain, Alastair Cook, to average more than 50 in Tests in the past two years. There was the recognition that his wicketkeeping has improved by leaps and bounds - sometimes quite literally - under the tuition of a former England wicketkeeper Bruce French.

Mostly, though, it was his reputation as England's heartbeat that won him the accolade ahead of other deserving claimants such as Alastair Cook, for the remorseless run scoring that turned the India Test series, and James Anderson, skilful and indefatigable, a fast bowler at his peak as he proved that he could bowl in the most discouraging circumstances.

Prior looked mildly stunned. "You look back on the year and look at the amount of quality in the dressing room," he said. "Jimmy Anderson's performance in India: for a seam bowler to perform like he did was phenomenal - that's worth a player of the year award. Cooky: the way he led from the front in India. There are a number of guys who have put in huge performances. They've obviously just pulled a name out of the hat, so I'm hugely honoured but it could have been a number of guys."

But it was much more than a name out of a hat. All Out Cricket magazine did not just stop at describing Prior as England's "heartbeat". In this month's issue, they hailed him as the team's moral compass, the protector of their spirit, a dressing room confidant, and a tactician and cheerleader - as vice-captain, he offers a more instinctive, noisier flavour to Cook's reflective and conservative approach.

He was also the player who phoned Kevin Pietersen, when the extent of his stand-off with the England dressing room became known - ignoring the political niceties at the time and relying instead on a faith in the team ethic and a few home truths. He is embarrassed that his call has passed into English cricket folklore - after all, he just picked up the phone and said what he thought - but, not to put too fine a point on it, it cut the crap and English cricket was all the better for it.

His continued omission from England's one-day side, and memories of his sudden dropping from England's Test side in 2008, have taught him not to overreact to the plaudits that now, more than ever, will come his way.

"Not playing ODIs certainly keeps you fresh," he said. "I've said before that it's a bit of a catch-22, the whole matter of playing one-day cricket or not. From a positive point of view it gives me these windows of opportunity to fully prepare for each Test series. Not just from a physical point of view, but also mentally being able to switch off.

"Also you can prepare completely on each team you are up against. That certainly allows me to go into each Test series at 100%, giving it everything until the last ball then duck out again and have a few weeks riding a bicycle."

These days, he gets equal satisfaction from wicketkeeping and batting. If his hundred in Auckland is understandably his sharpest batting memory of the year, his catch, standing up to Jonathan Trott, to dismiss New Zealand's captain, Brendon McCullum, in the same Test was also a source of great satisfaction, proof of how much his game has advanced.

"It was only two or three weeks beforehand that I had been working with Frenchy away from everyone, having arguments about whether we should do it this way or whether that way will help you. Frenchy got his way, which I hate to admit, and suddenly I got that catch. When you do the work, put that extra time to gain one, two, three percent and you see it work in the middle it's hugely fulfilling.

"There has been a lot of stuff said. It's a fickle world, if I punch one on Thursday I'll be rubbish again. Everyone else can say their bits, I'll just concentrate on catching as many balls as I can and keep working hard. In years to come, when hopefully I've played a few more years and caught a few more catches we can see where I sit."

He loves Lord's, where this summer gets underway against New Zealand on Thursday, and can smile now at the dressing room window he accidentally smashed two years ago as he fumed over being run out in a Test against Sri Lanka as England chased quick runs for a declaration on the final day.

"I love this ground: home of cricket, to drive in and get your little spot next to the window. They've safeguarded it: double-glazed, smash-proof, it's all good. I'm allowed back in that corner. It feels like coming home."

David Hopps is the UK editor of ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY satishchandar on | May 14, 2013, 9:49 GMT

    This guy is pure class in longer formats.. Countless games he had turned over with his counter attacking style of batting.. Among modern keepers, would rate him next to Gilchrist in terms of coming in at lower middle order and changing course of the game across the globe.. He would finish as the best ever WK batsman for England b the time he hangs up his boots..

    It is so unfortunate that he is not able to transfer the form into shorter versions..

  • POSTED BY Greatest_Game on | May 15, 2013, 8:21 GMT

    Idea: if debating the "best wicketkeeper-batsman," consult the WICKETKEEPING RECORDS - link for TESTS is http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/records/index.html?category=5;class=1

    Some highlights:

    Most Dismissals in a Match: 11 - AB de Villiers & RC Russel.

    Most byes Conceded in an Innings: Prior conceded the 2nd, 3rd & 9th most - only person on the list 3 times. (Dhoni is on the list, de Villiers is not.)

    Highest Inngs Total Without Conceding a Bye: de Villiers is listed twice. In back-to-back inns (over 2 tests) de Villiers did not concede a bye in 1472 balls! (Dhoni on the list, Prior not.)

    Also, look up a player's FIELDING ANALYSIS as WICKETKEEPER in STATSGURU. A "keeper's average" is his D/I - Dismissals per Innings. To save you the trouble/because I know you won't anyway, they are:

    de Villiers D/I - 2.115. Prior D/I - 1.661 Dhoni D/I - 1.734

    First quote records/figures, then your opinions.

    PS. de Villiers IS the best bat. +50 ave tests & ODI. #3 in test, #1 in ODI, etc

  • POSTED BY cric_J on | May 15, 2013, 8:08 GMT

    @joski :With due respect to you ,sir, any claims that MSD is a better test keeper-batsman than Prior reflects a lack of basic cricketing knowledge on your part and an assessment based on something other than facts.

    In ODIs MS is probably one of the best batsmen in the world ever and definitely one of the top 5 at the moment. Also he is definitely the best finisher the game has ever produced. Much the same applies to t20s as well.

    But in tests , he is way behind AB and Prior .Check out the stats if needed. Personally I would rank AB higher than Matt as he is the more talented one and because of his incredible range of shots. But then it is Prior who is more dependable and probably has a more solid technique for test cricket.

    In terms of wicket-keeping too , MS is far behind. AB is a born athlete and Matt is a very professional keeper who misses very few.

    Across all formats (t20 , ODI and tests combined) , AB would be the best keeper-bat and MSD would be second.

  • POSTED BY anver777 on | May 15, 2013, 7:23 GMT

    Congrats !!! richly deserves this award !!

  • POSTED BY class9ryan on | May 15, 2013, 2:03 GMT

    Matt Prior is certainly the best on going wicket keeper batsman in the world. The great quality of him is he can can play well in all conditions (also in the subcontinent). He has played very well for Sussex in the shorter versions of the game. Talking about ODIs, he can walk into the English side if no.3 ( Trott ) is injured.

  • POSTED BY bigdhonifan on | May 14, 2013, 18:46 GMT

    All forms of cricket, then it is MSD, no competition.

  • POSTED BY Shan156 on | May 14, 2013, 17:00 GMT

    @joski65, you are absolutely correct if we are talking T20s or ODIs but if we are talking tests, Prior is heads and shoulders above Dhoni. Way better batsman and better keeper.

    I think Prior should be picked only for tests. He has been tried several times in ODIs and has failed. Let him concentrate on his test game. He is doing fine there. We have other options for ODIs/T20s now.

  • POSTED BY Shan156 on | May 14, 2013, 16:50 GMT

    Amen @Nutcutlet. I am a huge fan of Matt Prior and I am elated that he won this award. He deserves it more than anyone else in the team. He is a selfless player, a rock in the lower middle order, and his keeping has improved leaps and bounds from the 2007 lows. Well done Matt. Hope you serve Eng. for a long time to come.

  • POSTED BY cric_J on | May 14, 2013, 13:45 GMT

    Heartiest congratulations to Matt for the accolade. You deserve it to the core my Sir.

    Awards don't hardly mean anything to the players. But it is always good to get some recognition , a sort of momento for all the efforts that one puts for the team. Something that one can cherish.

    2012 was kind of a roller-coster ride for most English players. But not so for Matt. He was extremely consistent and solid with his performances , especially againdt India and SA. He was the backbone of the batting lineup and missed hardly any chances with the gloves. No other player deserved the award more than him.

    Hope he can continue this form this year as well. But for now, cheers to the man for his sheer grit and determination. And for giving us the opportunity to witness some really gutsy innings from him.

  • POSTED BY Aussiesfalling on | May 14, 2013, 13:07 GMT

    I wouldn't put AB in the same class at Matt as a keeper because he is yet to demonstrate that he can keep well to all types of bowlers in all types of conditions. Many people had thought that Jaywardene was probably the best keeper in the world until they saw him struggle in England. Matt has kept well all around the world including in Sri Lanka, perhaps the toughest place to keep. When he first toured Sri Lanka he struggled with the gloves and was dropped despite being one of England's most successful batters on that tour. AB looks to me to be a bit too much like Haddin, a keeper who relies on diving rather than footwork.

  • POSTED BY satishchandar on | May 14, 2013, 9:49 GMT

    This guy is pure class in longer formats.. Countless games he had turned over with his counter attacking style of batting.. Among modern keepers, would rate him next to Gilchrist in terms of coming in at lower middle order and changing course of the game across the globe.. He would finish as the best ever WK batsman for England b the time he hangs up his boots..

    It is so unfortunate that he is not able to transfer the form into shorter versions..

  • POSTED BY Greatest_Game on | May 15, 2013, 8:21 GMT

    Idea: if debating the "best wicketkeeper-batsman," consult the WICKETKEEPING RECORDS - link for TESTS is http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/records/index.html?category=5;class=1

    Some highlights:

    Most Dismissals in a Match: 11 - AB de Villiers & RC Russel.

    Most byes Conceded in an Innings: Prior conceded the 2nd, 3rd & 9th most - only person on the list 3 times. (Dhoni is on the list, de Villiers is not.)

    Highest Inngs Total Without Conceding a Bye: de Villiers is listed twice. In back-to-back inns (over 2 tests) de Villiers did not concede a bye in 1472 balls! (Dhoni on the list, Prior not.)

    Also, look up a player's FIELDING ANALYSIS as WICKETKEEPER in STATSGURU. A "keeper's average" is his D/I - Dismissals per Innings. To save you the trouble/because I know you won't anyway, they are:

    de Villiers D/I - 2.115. Prior D/I - 1.661 Dhoni D/I - 1.734

    First quote records/figures, then your opinions.

    PS. de Villiers IS the best bat. +50 ave tests & ODI. #3 in test, #1 in ODI, etc

  • POSTED BY cric_J on | May 15, 2013, 8:08 GMT

    @joski :With due respect to you ,sir, any claims that MSD is a better test keeper-batsman than Prior reflects a lack of basic cricketing knowledge on your part and an assessment based on something other than facts.

    In ODIs MS is probably one of the best batsmen in the world ever and definitely one of the top 5 at the moment. Also he is definitely the best finisher the game has ever produced. Much the same applies to t20s as well.

    But in tests , he is way behind AB and Prior .Check out the stats if needed. Personally I would rank AB higher than Matt as he is the more talented one and because of his incredible range of shots. But then it is Prior who is more dependable and probably has a more solid technique for test cricket.

    In terms of wicket-keeping too , MS is far behind. AB is a born athlete and Matt is a very professional keeper who misses very few.

    Across all formats (t20 , ODI and tests combined) , AB would be the best keeper-bat and MSD would be second.

  • POSTED BY anver777 on | May 15, 2013, 7:23 GMT

    Congrats !!! richly deserves this award !!

  • POSTED BY class9ryan on | May 15, 2013, 2:03 GMT

    Matt Prior is certainly the best on going wicket keeper batsman in the world. The great quality of him is he can can play well in all conditions (also in the subcontinent). He has played very well for Sussex in the shorter versions of the game. Talking about ODIs, he can walk into the English side if no.3 ( Trott ) is injured.

  • POSTED BY bigdhonifan on | May 14, 2013, 18:46 GMT

    All forms of cricket, then it is MSD, no competition.

  • POSTED BY Shan156 on | May 14, 2013, 17:00 GMT

    @joski65, you are absolutely correct if we are talking T20s or ODIs but if we are talking tests, Prior is heads and shoulders above Dhoni. Way better batsman and better keeper.

    I think Prior should be picked only for tests. He has been tried several times in ODIs and has failed. Let him concentrate on his test game. He is doing fine there. We have other options for ODIs/T20s now.

  • POSTED BY Shan156 on | May 14, 2013, 16:50 GMT

    Amen @Nutcutlet. I am a huge fan of Matt Prior and I am elated that he won this award. He deserves it more than anyone else in the team. He is a selfless player, a rock in the lower middle order, and his keeping has improved leaps and bounds from the 2007 lows. Well done Matt. Hope you serve Eng. for a long time to come.

  • POSTED BY cric_J on | May 14, 2013, 13:45 GMT

    Heartiest congratulations to Matt for the accolade. You deserve it to the core my Sir.

    Awards don't hardly mean anything to the players. But it is always good to get some recognition , a sort of momento for all the efforts that one puts for the team. Something that one can cherish.

    2012 was kind of a roller-coster ride for most English players. But not so for Matt. He was extremely consistent and solid with his performances , especially againdt India and SA. He was the backbone of the batting lineup and missed hardly any chances with the gloves. No other player deserved the award more than him.

    Hope he can continue this form this year as well. But for now, cheers to the man for his sheer grit and determination. And for giving us the opportunity to witness some really gutsy innings from him.

  • POSTED BY Aussiesfalling on | May 14, 2013, 13:07 GMT

    I wouldn't put AB in the same class at Matt as a keeper because he is yet to demonstrate that he can keep well to all types of bowlers in all types of conditions. Many people had thought that Jaywardene was probably the best keeper in the world until they saw him struggle in England. Matt has kept well all around the world including in Sri Lanka, perhaps the toughest place to keep. When he first toured Sri Lanka he struggled with the gloves and was dropped despite being one of England's most successful batters on that tour. AB looks to me to be a bit too much like Haddin, a keeper who relies on diving rather than footwork.

  • POSTED BY ScottStevo on | May 14, 2013, 11:51 GMT

    Recognition for saving the bacon on numerous occasions in the last 18 months. Fair play to the bloke too, has come on leaps and bounds from the bloke slogging a quick fire 20-30, to Mr Dependable when the top order has fallen to pieces.

  • POSTED BY SherjilIslam on | May 14, 2013, 10:37 GMT

    @ Aussiesfalling on (May 14, 2013, 9:54 GMT):To be honest, i too hadn't put ABD in the league of Prior, but after his innings of 34 off 334,i was left awestruck. I never expected this sort of innings from ABD, knowing his natural game is to play attacking cricket.Also, i didn't find any major technical flaws as far as his wicket keeping is concerned. Coming to Dhoni, why i put Dhoni after the above two WK batsman is purely due to the fact that Dhoni had come a long way in terms of improving his cricketing skills.From a mere slogger with awkward batting style, to the Captain+WK of a national team, with a scintillating double hundred to his name,you can see him improving match after match in every aspect of the game and not to mention his exceptional fitness.

  • POSTED BY on | May 14, 2013, 10:11 GMT

    Truly he is the golden player for England for last five years. he is the "Man or crisis" for England. best thing of Prior is that he always perform under pressure. he is one of my favorite players. Well done go on great man.

  • POSTED BY Nutcutlet on | May 14, 2013, 9:58 GMT

    'Individual accolades are not the reason I play,' says the best wicket-keeper batsman in the world today. He's right, because every time we see him play, we sense (no, stronger that that: we know) that he is playing for the team, playing with a fierce focus no matter which side of the stumps he's on, yet never going beyond the bounds of fair play, nor losing a gruff sense of humour. What makes him even more admirable, is that he has *made* himself into the formidable player he has become. In the beginning his batting was far ahead of his keeping, but now it's 50/50, not because the batting has become less effective, but because the keeping is now its match. Amid all this appreciation, there is something about the uniqueness of being the keeper. Keepers do have their own stats, but they are incidental & the stats most often skated over by those that pore over such matters. Keepers are predisposed to be team players as their contributions are always part of the contribution of others.

  • POSTED BY Aussiesfalling on | May 14, 2013, 9:54 GMT

    SherjilIslam's endorsement of Matt Prior should be acknowledged, though I don't think many would put ABdV alonside him as the best Test keeper/batter in the world. AB is still very much a work in progress with the gloves and if forced to throw the gloves to someone in an emergency i would throw them to Sanga rather than AB even though he hasn't kept for a few years. As for Dhoni being third best, I think that is seriously overrating his value.

  • POSTED BY Aussiesfalling on | May 14, 2013, 9:45 GMT

    Jon Peters is right about Dhoni and I am always amused when MSD gets mentioned in the context of best keeper. I can only assume that these comments come from one eyed Indian fans. Jon is also right about the need to have Prior back in the ODI side, though it is too late for the Champions Trophy unless someone gets injured. No6 is just a bit too high in the ODI batting order for Buttler or anyone else other than Prior.

  • POSTED BY SherjilIslam on | May 14, 2013, 9:32 GMT

    Being an Indian, I had to admit that Prior truly deserves this award.In terms of Test cricket, definitely, he along with ABD is the best WK batsman at the moment(MSD comes second).But in ODIs and T-20, i think MSD is better than ABD/Prior.

  • POSTED BY R_U_4_REAL_NICK on | May 14, 2013, 9:31 GMT

    Really pleased for Prior - thoroughly deserves this! I hope he stays away from the shorter formats to concentrate on tests, where he is one of the best wicketkeeper-batsmen I've ever seen. A big thumbs up to Katherine as well, who could probably walk into the mens team and bowl better at times!

  • POSTED BY MayankAgarwal on | May 14, 2013, 9:16 GMT

    Truly desreving..best wicketkeeper batsman in Test cricket.Batting at No.7 and maintaining Avg. of 50+ over the past two years shows his worth for English Cricket.He announced his arrival with a bang by becoming first England wicketkeeper to score a century on debut.Unsung hero of England's famous Ashes Victory.And to add to all this he is excellent behind the stumps...Looking forward for some more meritorious performance from him in coming Ashes..Great Asset for England!!

  • POSTED BY on | May 14, 2013, 9:09 GMT

    Dhoni the best in the world? gimme a break. The two best keeper batsmen in the world are Prior and De Villiers. Dhoni is an outstanding batsman no doubt. Power personified and a good captain. But his keeping is a tad woeful. Most of the time he seems to be stopping the ball with his legs. Effective yes but not top class. Prior and all the other keepers use their hands. Plus Dhoni executed one double hundred on flat pitches in India against an Australian side who's bowlers had nothing out there. Prior has scored runs against all teams, all over the world, including in Australia where their bowlers should in theory shine. I don't know what the England selectors are waiting for. They brought Bell back in despite only one hundred in over a hundred or so games and he's done well. Do the same with Prior and let Buttler do what he can in the outfield. Prior, congratulations; I think that reward is well deserved

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | May 14, 2013, 8:41 GMT

    Matt is possibly the only player who has shown any sort of consistency , series after series since India 2011

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | May 14, 2013, 8:40 GMT

    @joski65 on (May 14, 2013, 7:42 GMT) With due respect (if we're talking batting) Prior averages significantly better than MS in tests. In tests only AB betters his batting record and AB is possibly the best all rounder out there across all 3 formats

  • POSTED BY AshesErnie on | May 14, 2013, 8:31 GMT

    Prior is rightly reaping reward for his exemplary attitude and commitment to the team ethic. He is fantastic now, but it's also worth remembering his obnoxious behaviour when first a Test player in 2007, more gob than substance at the time. That he has learned and improved so much to become iconic within the team shows real character.

  • POSTED BY tjsimonsen on | May 14, 2013, 8:30 GMT

    @joski65: Well, let's look at that claim, shall we: Over the past two years Dhoni has played 23 tests, Prior 25. Dhoni has scored 2 hundreds, Prior 3. However, whereas Dhoni's average is a fully respectable 38.9 in particular for a keeper, Prior's average of 49.6 is outstanding for a keeper and would be excellent for a specialist top-order batsman. In terms of dismissals Dhoni has taken 64 catches and effected 11 stumpings, whereas Prior has 66 catches and 9 stumpings. While that is pretty even, watching them play leaves me in no doubt that Prior is the better man behind the stumps. OK, Dhoni has to captain a rather erratic side, but that shouldn't influence the judgement of him strictly as a wicketkeeper-batsman.

  • POSTED BY Aussiesfalling on | May 14, 2013, 7:53 GMT

    If he were not to play another Test, you could easily argue that he is England's greatest wicket-keeper/batter of all time. In international terms, I think he has raised the bar beyond that set by Gilchrist in terms of what a Test wicket-keeper/batter should be able to do. His ability to maximise 'direct hits' from the outfield is a skill that few overseas keepers can match. It is a shame that the edge that this skill gives England in the field is missing from their side in the shorter formats.

  • POSTED BY joski65 on | May 14, 2013, 7:42 GMT

    With due respect to Prior, the best wk/batter in the world? Nope I'd say that would be Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

  • POSTED BY jmatwho on | May 14, 2013, 2:50 GMT

    Prior and his ilk are always a pleasure to watch solely because of how much they put into the game, and its wonderful to see him get the recognition for all he has done. He is of the same mould as Dravid and Collingwood. Real team men.

  • POSTED BY desi1 on | May 14, 2013, 2:37 GMT

    @Front-Foot-Lunge you forgot to add the TEST bit mate. He cant get into English One day and Twenty20 team.

  • POSTED BY desi1 on | May 14, 2013, 2:34 GMT

    he may be the best wicket keeper in the world but he is certainly not the best man in English team.

  • POSTED BY landl47 on | May 14, 2013, 1:46 GMT

    Prior's consistency has been remarkable and extremely valuable to England. In his last 10 tests he's had 16 innings and racked up one century, 7 fifties, 3 forties and only one score under 20. He has kept well and is always upbeat and positive. He doesn't always get the headlines, so it's great to see him getting this well-deserved honour.

  • POSTED BY Puffin on | May 14, 2013, 0:18 GMT

    a richly deserved award, for a change.

  • POSTED BY markatnotts on | May 13, 2013, 23:24 GMT

    A fantastic test match specialist, and if he didn't have the gloves he may have made the England team in merit as a batsmen only if necessary. His glove work has improved. To me he is part "Boucher", and part "Gilchrist", some kind of love child born of those two fathers, who will most likely leave the international stage a very fine cricketer, but without the length of career to be classed an all time great.

  • POSTED BY on | May 13, 2013, 23:04 GMT

    He deserves this honor! A truly magnificent cricketer :)

  • POSTED BY 2.14istherunrate on | May 13, 2013, 22:35 GMT

    He really is the business and deserves the plaudits fully,as well amusing us with his humour. Not just the Auckland ton was special but a few more knocks too. I do find it odd that he does not cut it in ODI's- is it that offsided players are less effective in that genre? Stay sparkling,Matt! It is worth mentioning too for commendation Cook's serial ton scoring-awesome. He should try the 3 ton series at home some time.

  • POSTED BY on | May 13, 2013, 21:32 GMT

    Spot on FF Lunge, *and* he's a modest guy with a self-effacing sense of humour. Long may he delight us !

  • POSTED BY Front-Foot-Lunge on | May 13, 2013, 20:30 GMT

    Given that he's proven himself the best wicketkeeper-batsman in the world, it's not surprising that Prior dazzles opposition teams like Australia and India just for fun. He's been a continued joy for England fans to watch for many years.

  • POSTED BY Front-Foot-Lunge on | May 13, 2013, 20:30 GMT

    Given that he's proven himself the best wicketkeeper-batsman in the world, it's not surprising that Prior dazzles opposition teams like Australia and India just for fun. He's been a continued joy for England fans to watch for many years.

  • POSTED BY on | May 13, 2013, 21:32 GMT

    Spot on FF Lunge, *and* he's a modest guy with a self-effacing sense of humour. Long may he delight us !

  • POSTED BY 2.14istherunrate on | May 13, 2013, 22:35 GMT

    He really is the business and deserves the plaudits fully,as well amusing us with his humour. Not just the Auckland ton was special but a few more knocks too. I do find it odd that he does not cut it in ODI's- is it that offsided players are less effective in that genre? Stay sparkling,Matt! It is worth mentioning too for commendation Cook's serial ton scoring-awesome. He should try the 3 ton series at home some time.

  • POSTED BY on | May 13, 2013, 23:04 GMT

    He deserves this honor! A truly magnificent cricketer :)

  • POSTED BY markatnotts on | May 13, 2013, 23:24 GMT

    A fantastic test match specialist, and if he didn't have the gloves he may have made the England team in merit as a batsmen only if necessary. His glove work has improved. To me he is part "Boucher", and part "Gilchrist", some kind of love child born of those two fathers, who will most likely leave the international stage a very fine cricketer, but without the length of career to be classed an all time great.

  • POSTED BY Puffin on | May 14, 2013, 0:18 GMT

    a richly deserved award, for a change.

  • POSTED BY landl47 on | May 14, 2013, 1:46 GMT

    Prior's consistency has been remarkable and extremely valuable to England. In his last 10 tests he's had 16 innings and racked up one century, 7 fifties, 3 forties and only one score under 20. He has kept well and is always upbeat and positive. He doesn't always get the headlines, so it's great to see him getting this well-deserved honour.

  • POSTED BY desi1 on | May 14, 2013, 2:34 GMT

    he may be the best wicket keeper in the world but he is certainly not the best man in English team.

  • POSTED BY desi1 on | May 14, 2013, 2:37 GMT

    @Front-Foot-Lunge you forgot to add the TEST bit mate. He cant get into English One day and Twenty20 team.

  • POSTED BY jmatwho on | May 14, 2013, 2:50 GMT

    Prior and his ilk are always a pleasure to watch solely because of how much they put into the game, and its wonderful to see him get the recognition for all he has done. He is of the same mould as Dravid and Collingwood. Real team men.