Matt Prior: England keeper stands down for summer

Matt Prior
Wicketkeeper Prior has played in 79 Tests for England

Wicketkeeper Matt Prior is to stand down from England duty for the rest of the summer because of injury.

The 32-year-old Sussex player, who has won 79 Test caps, is likely to have surgery on his Achilles.

He emphasised that he is not retiring but accepted that he might not get his England place back.

"It is a huge decision and not one I've taken lightly, but I'm not doing justice to myself and more importantly the team," he said.

"I tore my quad before the first Test [against India] 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 proactive 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 became the first debutant England wicketkeeper to hit a century in 2007, added: "I've made my decision for the good of the team and whoever comes in I genuinely wish them the best of luck.

"If I don't play again, I'll be disappointed because there are a few things that I wanted to achieve and thought I would.

Which Tests will Prior miss?
Third Test v India (27 July)
Fourth Test v India (7 August)
Fifth Test v India (15 August)

"But I can also look back and know I did some pretty good things."

After England lost the second Test to India at Lord's on Monday, captain Alastair Cook was asked about Prior's future.

"It is all up to Matt," said Cook. "If he is up for carrying on playing for England - and he has been a fabulous player for England - then he has a place because I think he is best wicketkeeper-batter in country.

"He has to earn the right to play for England like everyone else. He'll be hurting. But he is a fighter and you want people like that in your team."

Lancashire's Jos Buttler is likely to replace Prior in the third Test, which starts at Hampshire's Ageas Bowl on Sunday.

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