Matt Prior has a future with England

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Matt Prior is still looking forward to a future with England despite having lost his central contract.

The 32-year-old took an indefinite break from Three Lions duty earlier this summer, saying his long-running injury struggles were preventing him from playing to the best of his ability.

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Quick return

That break now looks set to be cut remarkably short, however, as Prior insists he is already aiming for a quick return.

Age need not be a factor in Prior’s decision, as former Leicestershire ‘keeper Paul Nixon played for the national side well into his late thirties.

Head coach Peter Moores has been impressed with Jos Buttler, who has kept wicket in Prior’s absence, and was recently rewarded in the latest round of central contracts, effectively replacing his predecessor on the books.

Buttler has played with incredible maturity since his most recent call-up, but Prior could still be called upon in the future because of his wealth of experience.

Breaking back into the England side may be easier said than done, with the likes of Nottinghamshire’s James Taylor and Yorkshire’s Jonny Bairstow also in contention.

At present, Taylor is a popular choice, and has been called into the squad for the tour of Sri Lanka in November.

Sufficient fitness

Taylor is arguably the most competent batsman of the four, though it is likely that Prior would only return if he had gained full match fitness and done sufficient work in the nets.

Prior’s time out of the game could count against him in that he will no doubt be considered too much of a risk to take to the World Cup.

Sussex manager Mark Robinson is wary of rushing his ‘keeper back, but he has tipped him to take advantage should Buttler fall out of the squad.

“Historically players go in and have to come out at some point – be it from fatigue, injury or a dip in their form”, he told BBC Sport.

Fellow returners

Jonathan Trott is another former England star who could potentially be looking at a comeback after a strong end to the season with Warwickshire.

The South-African born batsman also took a break from England due to a stress-related illness, but he hit several centuries in the County Championship run-in to help the Bears to second place.

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