Image courtesy of: Zimbio
England wicketkeeper-batsman Matt Prior has announced that he is determined to be included in the national team during the 2015 Ashes series against Australia.
Prior was ruled out for the entire second half of 2014 and the 2015 World Cup as well after deciding to have his troublesome Achilles tendon surgically repaired.
“For an England cricketer, it’s the pinnacle,” he said. “It’s the biggest series and everything is intensified by 10 or 100. There’s a lot to look forward to.”
During the last Ashes series against Australia, Prior only featured in the first three Tests before being dropped since he was averaging a dismal 17.83 with the bat.
“We failed so miserably last time that there is a burning desire in every English cricketer to make up for that very, very poor performance,” Prior said. “It’s a new team; it’s a team that has no scars or ghosts from that 5-0 beating. We’re on home soil too – that makes a huge difference.
“Ultimately it’s going to be a huge, tough challenge; it always is in an Ashes series and we’re going to need our big players to step up.”
Even though he is still undergoing a rehabilitation programme, Prior has his eyes set on playing for Sussex during their pre-season trip to Dubai in March.
“For me, it will be a test,” he admitted. “I have got to get myself running again after a big operation. But physically and mentally it tells – it wears you down. It’s not the playing, it’s over 12 months in a year.
“It’s the warm-ups, training days, the flying. In 2011, we had 51 flights in five months. After a while it can really affect your motivation and fatigue.
“Touring is tiring – it’s the being away from home, your family, and that has to have a knock-on effect on your game.
“The best guys can do it and I’m not complaining, though. To play for your country is a dream come true.”