Prior: England let standards slip

Salisbury Journal: Matt Prior was dropped for the last two Ashes Tests Matt Prior was dropped for the last two Ashes Tests

England wicketkeeper Matt Prior has blamed a lack of professionalism for England's 5-0 Ashes whitewash.

In a frank assessment of performances down under, Prior - who was dropped after the third Test - suggested the players may have shown a lack of respect for captain Alastair Cook and team director Andy Flower after allowing standards to slip.

The 31-year-old, writing in his Daily Telegraph column, pinpointed problems such as turning up late for meetings and wearing the wrong uniform as reflective of a bigger issue.

And while he conceded Australia's performances dictated that they were deserving winners, he believes England contributed to their own downfall.

"There are obvious straightforward cricketing reasons why we lost the Ashes in Australia but when assessing this defeat you have to look deeper," Prior wrote.

"It all goes back to the dressing room and making sure that environment is right and on this tour I think we let it slip a bit.

"We let a few things slide. They appear trivial issues to those on the outside but they are important when building a team environment.

"Little things like wearing the right kit, turning up to meetings on time, not five minutes late. It is about the respect you have for your team-mates, coach and captain."

In the light of the recent reports over Flower and Kevin Pietersen's uneasy working relationship, Prior's comments are another eye-opening criticism of how events unfolded down under.

Prior has backed Flower and Cook - as well as under-fire batting coach Graham Gooch - to lead England into a new phase.

Whether Prior himself will be a part of that remains up in the air after he was left out for the final two matches following a run of poor form that dated back to the summer's 3-0 Ashes success.

Prior was damning of his own performances in Australia and described his missed stumping in Perth against David Warner, who went on to score a century, off the bowling of Graeme Swann as one of the lowest points of his career.

"My keeping had been outstanding until that terrible moment," he said. "It was as bad a moment as I have ever experienced on a cricket pitch.

"I stood there knowing that Swanny was struggling a little bit and I had let him down."

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree