Prior named England cricketer of the year
Matt Prior has become the first wicketkeeper to be named England Cricketer of the Year.
The Sussex star beat England captain Alastair Cook and last year’s winner James Anderson to the award at a awards dinner at Lord’s.
It caps a fine 12 months for the 31-year-old, who matched his consistency with the gloves with fine form with the bat.
He hit seven Test half centuries during 2013 but will perhaps be best remembered for his memorable performance in Auckland in March.
Prior’s defiant 110 not out on the fifth and final day of the final Test helped England to salvaged the draw when defeat looked inevitable, ensuring the series remained 0-0.
“I’ve no doubt the innings in against New Zealand is pretty fresh in people’s minds so that’s probably had something to do with it,” Prior said
“It was great to get over the line, a hugely proud moment but from a team point of view we want to be winning Test matches not drawing them.
“But to save a game for your country is a great feeling and I was very proud.”
The South-African born star is preparing for the first Test of the English summer, also against New Zealand, at Lord’s on Thursday. The hosts are heavy favourites in the cricket betting, despite their struggles against the same opposition last time out.
It marks the start of a busy and exciting calendar for England, taking in the ICC Champions Trophy and back-to-back Ashes series against Australia.
Despite the challenges lying ahead Prior insists he is fully focused on the Black Caps, adding: You can’t have Test matches that are warm-ups,” he said. “Every Test match is a special moment.
“You only have to walk into this ground at Lord’s and walk out playing for your country.
“This series is massive. We had a tough series in New Zealand and we want to put in good performances and get a win.”