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Cricket World Cup: Matt Prior surprised by England call

ICC Cricket World Cup 2011
Hosts: India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh Dates: 19 February to 2 April
Coverage: Live Test Match Special commentary (on BBC 5 live sports extra and BBC Sport website) and live text commentary on all England matches and other major games; also live on Sky Sports

Matt Prior training in Hobart
Prior's last ODI appearance was in March 2010

Matt Prior has admitted his surprise at being named as England's wicketkeeper for next month's World Cup in Asia.

The 28-year-old Sussex keeper has not played for England in the 50-over format since March 2010.

"I wasn't expecting it," said Prior, who is set to go straight into the side for the second of seven one-day games against Australia in Hobart on Friday.

Surrey's Steven Davies had looked set to be named in the 15-man squad after being selected for the one-day series.

But England team director Andy Flower said on Wednesday that he thought Prior was a better option on the Asian sub-continent pitches.

Davies scored 42 from 35 balls in Sunday's six-wicket defeat in the opening match of the series in Melbourne and has been behind the stumps for England's past six one-day internationals.

He has scored 244 runs from seven ODIs at an average of 34.85, and has already matched Prior's best score of 87.

Prior, who averages 25.38 from 55 ODIs since his debut in 2004, conceded he had sympathy for his team-mate, while acknowledging his own good fortune.

"I've always said that whenever England are playing I want to be the guy with the gloves on," he said.


"I am absolutely delighted with the selection. It feels like I have come home again so I'm really happy.

"Davies and I have worked a lot together, we're in the keepers' union and we have been on this whole trip.

"We go a long way back and we both know that we are pushing for the same place.

"All you can do is work your best and try your best to perform and whoever gets the nod on the day, fair play to them.

"It was only a short while back I was shaking his hand and saying 'well done' to him.

"It works that way, it's international sport. It's cut-throat at times, but everyone has been through it.

"I'm just very happy that I've got the nod this time."

Prior insisted he was not yet looking to the World Cup, which starts on 19 February, and was focusing solely on helping England level the one-day series against Australia.

"[Friday's] game is hugely important," he said. "It's a huge match.

"With the World Cup coming up, from an individual point of view, looking too far ahead can be dangerous.

"You take each game as it comes at the minute. My sole focus is the game here in Hobart and making sure that I perform as best I can."

Prior, who is set to open the innings with captain Andrew Strauss, has scored 1,066 ODI runs in 50 ODI innings, having been tried at a variety of positions in the batting order.

The World Cup begins on 19 February when two of the co-hosts India and Bangladesh meet in Dhaka, with England's first match against the Netherlands in Nagpur on the 22nd.

The final of the 14-team tournament, which is also being hosted by Sri Lanka, will be held in Mumbai on 2 April.

England's World Cup squad:
Andrew Strauss (Middlesex, capt), James Anderson (Lancashire), Ian Bell (Warwickshire), Tim Bresnan (Yorkshire), Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire), Paul Collingwood (Durham), Eoin Morgan (Middlesex), Kevin Pietersen (Surrey), Matt Prior (Sussex, wk), Ajmal Shahzad (Yorkshire), Graeme Swann (Nottinghamshire), James Tredwell (Kent), Jonathan Trott (Warwickshire), Luke Wright (Sussex), Michael Yardy (Sussex).

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see also
Prior in England World Cup squad
19 Jan 11 |  England
Injured Swann out of ODI series
25 Jan 11 |  England
Shahzad states his World Cup case
17 Jan 11 |  England
Woakes plays down World Cup talk
13 Jan 11 |  England
Watson ton too good for England
16 Jan 11 |  England
Broad and Finn in World Cup squad
18 Dec 10 |  England
Cricket World Cup 2011 squads
19 Jan 11 |  Cricket
Cricket World Cup 2011
09 Mar 11 |  Cricket

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