Prior returns for England World Cup duty

Prior returns for England World Cup duty

Matt Prior was named as England wicketkeeper when selectors announced their 15-man squad for the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup which starts on the Indian sub-continent next month.

The surprise decision means Prior will replace Steve Davies in the squad to play Australia in the second one-day international in Hobart on Friday, Prior stayed on after the Ashes and has been playing Twenty20 for Victoria in the domestic competition while Davies took over duties with the gloves.

Davies, who will stay in Australia as back-up for the rest of the seven-match series with the Aussies, was deflated after the news. England team director Andy Flower admitted: "Of course he is disappointed. Any player would be very disappointed to be left out of the England side.

"It means a lot. They are very difficult decisions to make because they effect people's careers. But those are the harsh realities of playing professional sport. Steve and the others who have been left out will have to accept it."

Davies has kept wicket in England’s last six one-day internationals including the opening match of the one-day series against Australia scoring 42 from 35 balls at Melbourne last Sunday and sees Prior return after an absence of 10 months from England’s one-day side. Prior has a batting average of just 25.38 in the 50-over game, but he performed well in the Ashes and Flower believes he is the better option for the tournament that will be held across three countries; India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

"We believe that Matt Prior is best suited to the sub-continent conditions and that's why we've picked him," Flower said.
"The circumstances have changed. Matt Prior did very well out here in the Test matches. He is a combative, aggressive cricketer. He fits our aggressive fielding unit so those are the reasons why he has been picked for the World Cup."

Prior is expected to open the batting with captain Andrew Strauss, where he played before losing his place after the tour of Bangladesh in March.

Fast bowler Chris Tremlett will feel unlucky to miss out as England opt to take four seamers and three spinners to South Asia. Stuart Broad returns to the ranks as expected following his recovery from injury and James Anderson will fly back to join the squad after taking a break with his family in England.

Full England World Cup Squad: Andrew Strauss (capt), James Anderson, Ian Bell, Tim Bresnan, Stuart Broad, Paul Collingwood, Eoin Morgan, Kevin Pietersen, Matt Prior (wkt), Ajmal Shahzad, Graeme Swann, James Tredwell, Jonathan Trott, Luke Wright, Michael Yardy.


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