Prior returns home to wife

Click to follow
The Independent Online

England will have to make multiple changes to their fourth Test team after Matt Prior returned home today following the birth of his first child.

Already required to make one alteration due to Andrew Flintoff's hip injury, England must now consider how to cover two places in the middle order.

Deputy gloveman Tim Ambrose is now guaranteed to feature at the Kensington Oval for the penultimate match of the series, which starts on Thursday.

Ravi Bopara, a potential replacement for Flintoff, was given a bowl on the second morning of the two-day match against a Barbados Cricket Association President's XI at Windward Cricket Club.

Having hit a hundred yesterday hours after a two-day trek from New Zealand and fighting off jet lag, Essex all-rounder Bopara was brought into the attack for the 22nd over of the innings.

But it proved a rude awakening with the ball as his first over cost 11 runs, including an eye-catching loft over extra cover for six by the aggressive Kevin Stoute.

Another clearance of the ropes off leg spinner Adil Rashid charged Stoute towards a half-century.

He was unbeaten on 46, alongside captain Shamar Brooks, who was 44 not out, in a score of 124 for four, following a wicketless first 80 minutes today.

Prior returned home this morning after wife Emily gave birth to a boy, their first child, last night.

Prior announced his intention to fly home should the baby come ahead of expectation earlier on this tour - he was scheduled to temporarily quit the tour on the arrival date of March 2 - and was en route to the UK today after receiving the news at 4.30am.

The 26-year-old would have been a viable option to bat at number six in the Test, given his average is in excess of 40, one which would have enabled England to retain a five-man bowling attack.

It is less likely that the selectors would consider Ambrose for that position, however, meaning that Andrew Strauss' team might be forced into a four-pronged bowling unit.

Worcestershire wicketkeeper Steve Davies is not scheduled to arrive in the Caribbean until later this week.

England trail 1-0 in the series with two matches to play in Barbados and Trinidad.