Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Prior Engagement Is a Gamble for Moores; New Coach Selects Rookie Keeper as He Prepares for His First Big Test at Lord's This Week. by David Lloyd

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Prior Engagement Is a Gamble for Moores; New Coach Selects Rookie Keeper as He Prepares for His First Big Test at Lord's This Week. by David Lloyd

Article excerpt

PETER MOORES has put his judgement on the line by plucking Matt Prior from a confusingly long list of candidates and plunging him into England's first Test of a new era.

Of all the decisions made by Duncan Fletcher during the final few years of his reign

and especially last winter

it was that almost unshakeable belief in Geraint Jones as the country's best wicketkeeperbatsman which earned the now former coach most criticism.

Well, Fletcher has gone, and sohas Jones. But the identity of the man behind England's stumps will continue to spark widespread discussion until someone emerges to nail down a job which has been passed around since Alec Stewart retired in 2003.

Prior

so far capped only at oneday international level and then mainly as a makeshift opener steps forward at Lord's this week to face West Indies.

His place might easily have gone to Paul Nixon, James Foster, Chris Read, Tim Ambrose, Jon Batty or Nic Pothas. But the picking of Prior has Moores's finger prints all over it and, while there is absolutely nothing wrong with that, the man who only became England's coach and third selector a fortnight ago could do with an early triumph, rather than the start of another debate.

"We spent a lot of time talking about the area of wicketkeeping, as we have done for year after year," admitted chairman of selectors David Graveney.

"There are a lot of contenders out there and although we only put two [Prior and Nixon] in our performance squad at the start of the season, we could have put six in.

"It was a close call [for the Test] but Matt's run-scoring record over quite a long period of time probably swung it." Prior does average close to 40 in first-class cricket. But even more important, perhaps, he made most of those runs while Moores was his coach at Sussex. Add a successful A tour to Bangladesh last winter, under the eye of then Academy boss Moores, and it is easy to see why Fletcher's successor has gone with what he knows best. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.