Prior moving on from Pietersen row

Published: Sunday 14th December 2014 by The News Editor

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Matt Prior wants to forget about Kevin Pietersen’s criticism of him, rather than hitting back at his former team-mate.

England wicket-keeper Prior, currently recovering from an Achilles injury, was heavily criticised in Pietersen’s October autobiography, with the batsman making claims about a bullying culture in the dressing room.

At the time Prior said he would make his response in due course but, two months later, he wants to move on.

Having launched his own professional cycling team this week, and with England’s World Cup campaign not long away, the Sussex man is not interested in engaging with Pietersen.

Speaking in the Mail on Sunday he said: “It was sad and it hurt. It was a tough time when it came out, for my family as well as me. But we’ve come through it and I’m proud of how I handled it. It’s now time to move on.

“I know I said at the time that I wanted a right of reply but having had time to think about it I just want to forget it. It’s about doing what is right for the England team. And what’s right for the England team right now is for us all to get behind them in Sri Lanka and at the World Cup next year.”

Prior’s rehabilitation from Achilles surgery continues ahead of the English summer, but with Jos Buttler now a fixture in the England set-up and Jonny Bairstow still on the scene, a return to international gloves is for from guaranteed.

Before that is an issue, though, Prior needs to know if he is up to playing again.

“‘I will only know if I can do it again once I get back to playing cricket,” he added.

“Only when I’ve played three or four days back to back, keeping for a lot of overs, will I know. I don’t want to come back half the player I was. If I can do myself justice and play to 100 per cent of my capabilities then I’m in.

“If I lose that yard that allows me to perform at the level I can perform at then I will only get frustrated with myself. I’d have to look at it if I didn’t get back to my old standards but, fingers crossed, hopefully that’s not the case.

“The other option is playing only as a batsman, which is going through my mind, too, because I’m pretty certain I can get back to my level just batting. We will see.

“I’m hugely ambitious to play for England again but it all depends on what level of fitness I can get back to. Playing for your country is the greatest honour and biggest achievement you can get. To stand in the Lord’s dressing room with your name on the honours board is a very special privilege, something you can’t forget as a player.”

Published: Sunday 14th December 2014 by The News Editor

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