England wicketkeeper Matt Prior has announced his retirement from all forms of professional cricket.
The 33-year-old wicket-keeper batsman for England & Sussex has decided to bid farewell to professional cricket. Matt is out of international cricket since the second Test at Lord’s against India, during last summer, because of an injury in his left Achilles tendon. Prior has represented his nation in 79 Tests, 68 ODIs and 10 T20Is. He was a strong element in England’s victory campaign during which the team gained the No.1 ranking in Tests in 2011, and won three Ashes series between 2009 and 2013. He is one of the players to score a century on their Test debut, and the first England wicketkeeper to achieve the feat, hitting an unbeaten 126 at Lord’s against West Indies in 2007.
Prior has a splendid record of 4099 runs accompanied by 256 dismissals in Tests. But his record was not so well in the ODIs, averaging just above 24 in 68 matches.
While announcing his decision, Prior said- “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.” He further added, “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. I also feel privileged to have been involved in an era of such success for English cricket.”
While thanking his team mates and family, Matt said, “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.”
The injury suffered by Prior led to his unwilling leave from professional cricket. Although his recovery treatment produced some positive results, but doctors finally advised him to stay permanently away from the sport in order to recover fully.
Prior ended his retirement speech emotionally saying, “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.”
Edited by Shivang Aggarwal