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Prior insists he still has an England future

ESPN staff
August 21, 2014 « Liverpool agree £16m fee for Balotelli | Martinez open to striker move »
Matt Prior looks dejected after conceding four byes in England's defeat by India at Lord's last month © Getty Images
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England wicketkeeper Matt Prior has insisted his international career is not over despite the impressive displays of his successor Jos Buttler.

Prior, 32, is set to have surgery next month on an Achilles injury that forced him out of the squad after England's loss in the second Test against India last month.

He has targeted the Test series against the West Indies in April next year to make his return and has revealed he would be happy to play as understudy to Buttler should the 23-year-old keep his place.

"If I have to go as a number two batter-wicketkeeper so be it," said Prior. "I'm more than happy to do that.

"The minute Jos went in the team I'm only ever there to help and I sent him a message to say if you need anything.

"But at the moment he is going great guns so I leave him to it, obviously."

Buttler enjoyed several devastating spells with the bat in his side's series win over India, scoring 200 in three innings as England fought back to take the remaining three Tests and claim the series 3-1.

Prior however, was keen to point out that he still has the desire to play international cricket and that he feels he can regain his place from the younger Buttler.

"I'm only 32 and everyone talks about you like that's it, it's the end," Prior said. "People seem to forget very quickly what you have given in the past... but that's the nature of the beast - that's sport, it moves on very quickly and I accept that.

"I'm hoping by January to be as physically fit as I have ever been, and then it's a case of getting some cricket under my belt and getting to the levels I expect of myself and proving to the selectors that I am playing good cricket."

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