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England and Sussex wicketkeeper-batsman Matt Prior has announced his retirement from all forms of cricket with immediate effect.
Prior confirmed that the Achilles injury he sustained last year led to him hanging up his boots for good.
The 33-year-old underwent surgery to repair his Achilles after the second Test against India at Lord’s in July 2014. Even though he missed the remainder of the 2014 season, Prior was confident of being fully fit when the upcoming Ashes series began. But, the wicketkeeper-batsman recently told ESPNcricinfo that his recovery was like “two steps forward and four steps back”.
“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.
“I feel honoured 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.
“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.
“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.”
Prior represented England in 79 Tests, scoring 4099 runs, which included seven centuries and 28 half-centuries, at an average of 40.18. He also involved in 256 dismissals behind the stumps, which only leaves him behind Alan Knott on England’s list of most wicketkeeping dismissals.
Despite not enjoying the same amount of success in limited overs cricket, Prior played 68 ODIs and 10 Twenty20 Internationals.
Prior scored 1282 ODI runs, which included three half-centuries, at an average of 24.18. He also claimed 71 catches and stumped eight batsmen.
In terms of his first-class career, Prior played 249 games and amassed 13,228 runs, which included 28 centuries and 75 half-centuries, at an average of 39.25. He also took 642 catches and was involved in 41 stumpings.
Former England captain Andrew Strauss, who is the England and Wales Cricket Board’s (ECB) director of cricket, lauded his former team-mate for having a fantastic career, and said: “Matt has had a wonderful career as a wicketkeeper batsman for both Sussex and England. 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 wicket-keeping and counter attacking batting will live long in the memories of both his team mates and England supporters.”