Cricket

Ashwell Prince reconsidering retirement

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Lancashire batsman Ashwell Prince is said to be reconsidering his decision to retire from all forms of cricket at the end of the season.

The 37-year-old, who is in his second spell at Old Trafford, initially made the announcement in March, but could now reverse his original plan. He has admitted in the past that this season has taken its toll on him physically, but he has since told the BBC: “The body is quite tired but you never know.

“A few months ago there was no chance but now there is a little chance.

“It will be nice to get home and have a few months off but I might be sitting around not knowing what to do with myself.

Mixed season

The former South Africa international has had something of a mixed season with Lancashire. On a personal note, he surpassed 16,000 first-class runs, but he has struggled to protect his county from falling into danger.

The Red Rose have endured a difficult season in the County Championship and look likely to be relegated from Division One, needing a positive result on the final day against fellow demotion candidates Middlesex.

On the one hand, Prince represents the kind of experience that could be needed next season as they seek to bounce back to the top tier.

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Strong squad

However, though they have had a poor season, they still have a relatively strong squad, so Prince may be set for a player-coaching role which would allow him to play less games.

40-year-old Glenn Chapple has been acting in both roles this season since former head coach Peter Moores departed for England, and he is keen to have Prince on board for next summer.

Chapple will encourage Prince not to finish his playing days too prematurely, though at present it is unclear whether either will be pulling on the Lancashire jersey this time next year.

Regardless of whether he chooses to continue, Prince appears determined to finish this season on a positive note, not only by beating Middlesex, but also by trying to patch things up with Andrew Gale. 

Prince ends Gale feud

Prince has given his implicit backing to the under-fire Yorkshire captain, insisting the verbal abuse directed at him during the Roses match was not racist.

In a radio interview in South Africa, Prince undermined the ECB’s case against Gale by saying he was offended only by the manner in which he was spoken to.

Gale has already received a two-match ban for the incident last month, which ruled him out of Yorkshire’s title-winning end to the season.

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