Fri, Jun 12, 2015 - Page 20 News List

Former England and Sussex keeper Prior retires due to injury

AFP, LONDON

Former England wicketkeeper Matt Prior announced yesterday that he has retired at the age of 33 due to injury.

Prior made the last of his 79 Test appearances against India at Lord’s in London 11 months ago before undergoing surgery on his Achilles tendon.

He had hoped to return to action with Sussex in this season’s County Championship, but he has failed to recover full fitness.

“Today is a very sad day for me, as I am forced to announce my retirement from the game I love,” Prior said in a statement released by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB). “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.”

Prior made his England debut against the West Indies at Lord’s in May 2007 and marked the occasion with a maiden century.

He went on to play a key role in three Ashes triumphs and hit a further six Test centuries during a period that saw England climb to the top of the International Cricket Council rankings in 2011.

In total he scored more than 4,000 Test runs and claimed 256 dismissals, putting him second behind only Alan Knott (269) among England wicketkeepers.

“I feel honored to have played for Sussex and England as many times as I have, and shared so many great times with both teams,” Prior said.

Andrew Strauss, Prior’s captain with England and the new ECB director of cricket, paid tribute to his former teammate.

“Matt has had a wonderful career as a wicketkeeper-batsman for both Sussex and England,” Strauss said. “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 wicketkeeping and counterattacking batting will live long in the memories of both his teammates and England supporters.”

Prior will now be able to channel his energies into his professional cycling team, ONE Pro Cycling, which he set up earlier this year.

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