Injury forces Prior retirement
England and Sussex wicketkeeper Matt Prior has announced his retirement due to the Achilles injury which required surgery last year.
Following the second Test against India, at Lord's, Prior had an operation which ruled him out of the remainder of the 2014 season but retained hopes of resuming his career. However, he recently told ESPNcricinfo that his recovery was like "two steps forward and four steps back" and has been forced to concede he will not return.
"Today is a very sad day for me as I am forced to announce my retirement from the game I love," he said. "I had been hoping and expecting to be fit for the start of the 2015 season. Unfortunately, this has proved impossible, and I have now had to reach this decision.
"I feel honoured to have played for Sussex and England as many times as I have and shared so many great times with both teams. I also feel privileged to have been involved in an era of such success for English cricket.
"I would like to thank my family, team-mates, coaches and the people behind the scenes that have supported me throughout the years. I have created friendships that will last forever. It would also be remiss of me not to thank the fantastic support I have had from cricket fans both at home and abroad.
"I have always tried to play with pride and passion and have a deep belief that the team will always come first. A value that will never leave me whatever I go on to do. Although I haven't achieved all the goals I had set out to, I feel immensely proud of what I have done in my career. Sadly it is now time to move on."
Prior, 33, played 79 Tests, scoring 4099 runs and claiming 256 dismissals which left him second behind Alan Knott in the list of England's wicketkeepers. He was part of three Ashes series victories and was also part of the England team which reached No. 1 in the Test rankings in 2011.
He made a century on his Test debut against West Indies, at Lord's, in 2007 and his top score of 131 not out came in Port of Spain in early 2009 following a recall to the side late the previous year after a gap of a year. That was one of seven Test hundreds - the last of which was the monumental rearguard against New Zealand in Auckland.
Although he did not find the same success in white-ball cricket at international level, he played 68 ODIs and 10 T20s.
Overall he played 249 first-class matches and scored 13,228 runs at 39.25 while claiming 683 dismissals.
Andrew Strauss, the director of England cricket, said: "Matt has had a wonderful career as a wicketkeeper batsman for both Sussex and England. During a period where the Test team won three Ashes series and achieved the world No.1 ranking, Matt's contribution, both on and off the field, was immense.
"It is a huge shame that his career has come to an end in this way, although his athletic wicket-keeping and counter attacking batting will live long in the memories of both his team mates and England supporters."
Mark Robinson, the Sussex director of cricket, said: "It is a sad day when a cricketer of such talent and character and who has achieved so much, and has the ability to achieve so much more, is forced to retire through injury.
"Matt has done great things for the club but more importantly, has done what we all dream of, which is play for his country with honour and distinction. On behalf of all the current playing side of the club, but also on behalf of all those who have played with him in the past, we thank him for the memories and wish him all the luck for the next stage of his life."