Injured Prior takes a break

  • Last Updated: July 21 2014, 22:38 BST

Matt Prior has taken a step back from England duty for the rest of the summer due to injury.

Matt Prior: Stepping down due to injury
Matt Prior: Stepping down due to injury

The 32-year-old revealed that he has a series of complaints which are hampering his performances and he expects to go under the knife to sort out his Achilles during the break.

"I'm not doing justice to myself and more importantly the team and that is what matters first and foremost," Prior said in comments reported by several national newspapers.

"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, who earned the first of 79 England Test caps against the West Indies in 2007, acknowledged that the decision could effectively end his international career.

"It is a huge decision and not one I've taken lightly obviously because I could have played my last game," he added.

The Sussex wicketkeeper has come under fire during an England slump which extended to 10 Tests without a win on Monday as India triumphed by 95 runs at Lord's, with Prior only managing 12 runs in the second innings as Ishant Sharma tore through England's middle order.

Prior says he has made the decision for the good of the team and has wished whoever comes in to replace him - likely to be Lancashire's Jos Buttler - the best of luck.

"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," he said.

"If that happens and I don't play again, then that was my lot. I'll be disappointed because there are a few things that I wanted to achieve and thought I would, but I can also look back and know I did some pretty good things."

Speaking to Sky Sports 2, Prior re-iterated that he remains as determined as ever to play for England but just wants to take time out to get 100 per cent fit.

"I need to give myself a good deal of time to get right and have the necessary procedures. I don't want to retire," he said.

"I would love to play for England again and I have hopes of doing that. As it stands now there are three Tests and that's quite a lot of time. It's the way it works out but I will then do my utmost to get fit and ready, raring to go for the back end of the winter and into next summer."

Prior said he has been trying to overcome fitness problems for most of the summer, but they are now having too much of an impact on his performances for him to ignore any longer.

"I have to be very honest with myself, my team-mates, my coach and my captain. I don't believe I'm able to perform at the level I expect of myself, the level I want to perform at for England with the injuries I'm carrying at the moment," he added.

"It's been something I've been fighting obviously, every one knows I've fought injury for most of this summer... When it affects movement and I can't play to the level I want to then it becomes an issue and that's what's happened in this game."

The 32-year-old, who has won three Ashes Series, said if this does herald the end of his England career he will be disappointed but will also have plenty to look back on and be proud of.

"The one that stands out for me is reaching No. 1 in the world," Prior said.

"Standing on that podium at the Oval, it was such a colossal effort to win consistently for so long. I use the word 'team' a lot and that's what's most important. You come through shared hardships and you come through them together. "

Former England captain Alec Stewart said Prior had made a "sensible decision" to step aside.

"Matt Prior makes sensible decision to stand down for rest of the series," Stewart said on Twitter. "He needs to regain fitness to then perform to his usual high level.

"Expect Jos Buttler to replace Prior, but don't be surprised if you see Prior wearing the England shirt again in the future."

Stewart tweeted that Chris Read and James Foster are "the best glovemen in England," but added that Buttler had already been called up as cover for Prior this season.

And another ex-England wicketkeeper, Paul Nixon, praised Prior for his stance.

Nixon said on Twitter: "Very brave and ultimate tough decision, bud, honest and all for the team."

Matt Prior factfile

1982: February 26 - Born Johannesburg, South Africa.

2001: Makes county championship debut for Sussex. Represented England U19 in a 'Test' series against West Indies U19, scoring two half-centuries in the first match at Leicester.

2002: Scores maiden first class century with 102 not out against Hampshire at Hove.

2003-4: Tours India with the England A.

2004: December 5 - Makes senior one-day debut against Zimbabwe in Harare, making 35 as an opener in the 74-run victory.

2005: May 5 - Excluded from England's 25-man development squad.

July 7 - Named in England's 15-man squad to face Australia in the NatWest Challenge but does not feature.

September 19 - Named in both England's Test and one-day squads for tour of Pakistan. Plays in five one-day internationals.

May 18: Becomes the first England wicketkeeper to score a century on Test debut, hitting 126no off 128 balls against West Indies in the first Test at Lord's.

2008: January 4 - Dropped for the tour of New Zealand in favour of Tim Ambrose.

August - Returned to the One-Day International side for their 4-0 series victory against South Africa. On 26 August 2008 took six catches against South Africa at Trent Bridge, only the second Englishman to achieve that feat in an ODI.

2009: March 7 - In the fifth Test on the West Indies tour, made his highest Test score (131 not out) in the final Test Match in Trinidad and was named man of the match.

May 6 - Became the second fastest England keeper to reach 1,000 Test runs, behind Les Ames, as he scored 42 in the first Test against the West Indies at Lord's.

2010: December 26-29 - Ever-present in the Test side in England's successful 2010-11 Ashes Series in Australia. In the fourth Test at the MCG, held six catches in Australia's first innings as they were bowled out for just 98. Followed it up with 85 runs as England won by an innings to take a 2-1 series lead and retain the Ashes with a Test to spare.

2011: January 3-7 - In the fifth and final Ashes Test scored his first century against Australia from 109 balls, the fastest English Ashes century since Ian Botham's 118 at Old Trafford in 1981.

2013: August 9-12 - Made his 200th catch for England during the fourth Test in Durham, and he is third in Test dismissals all time behind Alan Knott (250) and Alec Stewart (277).

August 21-25 - In the fifth Ashes Test at The Oval, made 47 in the first innings - his best score of the series - as England won the series 3-0 with Prior as vice captain.

December - With England 3-0 down in the series in Australia, dropped in favour of Jonny Bairstow.

2014: July 21 - Announced he was taking a step back from cricket due to injury after his performance in the loss to India at Lord's came under fire.


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