England stick to Matt Prior arrangements and pick younger keepers for Champions Trophy

Hero of Auckland Test overlooked in 30-strong provisional squad for one-day tournament

Geoff Miller, England’s chairman of selectors, has defended the decision not to include Matt Prior in the 30-man provisional squad for this summer’s Champions Trophy, despite the Sussex wicketkeeper-batsman’s Test heroics against New Zealand.

Jos Buttler, Craig Kieswetter and part-time wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow were all named alongside uncapped players James Harris, Chris Wright, Varun Chopra and Gary Ballance in the initial selection which will be trimmed to 15 players next month.

The continued absence of Prior - who has not played a one-day international since the 2011 World Cup and averages just 24.18 from 68 matches - was expected, even after his  performances in New Zealand, where an unbeaten 110 in the final Test in Auckland helped salvage a series draw.

That innings was enough to propel him into the top 10 of the international batting rankings for the first time in his career, but even though Miller admitted he had considered recalling the 31-year-old, the selectors opted to  stick with the squad who came from behind to beat New Zealand in their latest ODI series.

“We did discuss it - obviously Matt’s played very well and showed his worth in New Zealand from both an attacking and defensive viewpoint,” Miller said. “He’s not been involved for a couple of years and he has had many chances in the past to show what he can do. We know what he’s capable of but we have pursued other options in the past two years and we’ll continue to go in that direction.

“There are three wicketkeepers in the squad already and adding Matt would have imbalanced it.”

After making his one-day international debut in 2004 against Zimbabwe as an opener, Prior has flattered to deceive in the short form of the game and only has three half-centuries to his name with a top score of 87 coming against the West Indies in 2009. He earned a surprise recall for the 2011 World Cup after being dropped 11 months previously, but only managed a top score of 22 not out.

Kieswetter was earmarked as his long-term replacement following his starring role in England’s Twenty20 World Cup success in 2010, but the Somerset wicketkeeper was replaced by county team-mate Buttler for the fourth one-day international against India in January. Buttler has averaged just 9.60 in his four innings so far.

Miller is confident that England can mount a challenge on home soil. “This is a balanced squad which will provide the selectors with strong options in all areas and reflects players’ performances for both the senior England teams and the England Lions and England Performance Programme squads over the winter period,” he said.

“With this country hosting the tournament for the first time since 2004, there will be every incentive for England to perform well and we anticipate intense competition for places in our final squad.”

Prior is one of five members of the Performance Squad announced earlier this week who will not feature in the Champions Trophy, along with Nick Compton, Monty Panesar, Michael Lumb and Chris Tremlett. Nottinghamshire batsman James Taylor, who was surprisingly left out of the Performance Squad, has been included along with the Warwickshire all-rounder Rikki Clarke.

Of the uncapped quartet, new Middlesex seamer James Harris has the best chance of making the final cut on 5 May, although England are expected to stick with tried and tested performers like Stuart Broad and Jade Dernbach as they attempt to win their inaugural ICC one-day title.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor
The ZX Spectrum has been crowd-funded back into play - with some 21st-century tweaks

The ZX Spectrum is back

The ZX Spectrum was the original - and for some players, still the best. David Crookes meets the fans who've kept the games' flames lit
Grace of Monaco film panned: even the screenwriter pours scorn on biopic starring Nicole Kidman

Even the screenwriter pours scorn on Grace of Monaco biopic

The critics had a field day after last year's premiere, but the savaging goes on
Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people used to believe about periods

Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people once had about periods

If one was missed, vomiting blood was seen as a viable alternative
The best work perks: From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)

The quirks of work perks

From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)
Is bridge the latest twee pastime to get hip?

Is bridge becoming hip?

The number of young players has trebled in the past year. Gillian Orr discovers if this old game has new tricks
Long author-lists on research papers are threatening the academic work system

The rise of 'hyperauthorship'

Now that academic papers are written by thousands (yes, thousands) of contributors, it's getting hard to tell workers from shirkers
The rise of Lego Clubs: How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships

The rise of Lego Clubs

How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships
5 best running glasses

On your marks: 5 best running glasses

Whether you’re pounding pavements, parks or hill passes, keep your eyes protected in all weathers
Joe Root: 'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

Joe Root says the England dressing room is a happy place again – and Stokes is the catalyst
Raif Badawi: Wife pleads for fresh EU help as Saudi blogger's health worsens

Please save my husband

As the health of blogger Raif Badawi worsens in prison, his wife urges EU governments to put pressure on the Saudi Arabian royal family to allow her husband to join his family in Canada