Thursday 24 June 2010 

McCullum Backs Prior To Return To England ODI Side

McCullum Backs Prior To Return To England ODI Side
McCullum Backs Prior To Return To England ODI Side
© Action Images / Matthew Childs
 

New Zealand wicket-keeper Brendon McCullum says he is 'surprised' that Sussex team-mate Matthew Prior is not currently in England's One-Day International and Twenty20 plans.

Both players have been excelling for the Sharks during their Friends Provident t20 campaign and as his own time with side came to an end as he watched Prior hammer 117 in 55 balls, McCullum told Sussex TV:

“I have spoken a lot about it with Matt over the last couple of weeks and I am surprised he is not first choice for England. Sometimes it is harder to get promoted from outside the group as it is to hold on to your position from within.

“He is a fantastic player but I am sure that if he bides his time and keeps putting the runs on the board he will become a prominent player in the shorter versions of world cricket as he is in Test cricket."

Prior was overlooked for England's ICC World Twenty20 campaign in the Caribbean as well as the ODI series with Australia by Somerset's Craig Kieswetter, having played alongside him in Bangladesh.

McCullum added that he had enjoyed his stint with Sussex, saying: “I’ve really enjoyed my time here. It can often be hard as an overseas player coming into a side and trying to adapt to the team, but I have felt completely comfortable after one day. There are some fine players in the squad and the collective confidence is symbolic of the run we’ve been on.

“The guys here seem to be able to win from anywhere. The standard of cricket within our team is very high, and that ability to win games from any situation and the confidence to do so brings out the best in everyone."

Hard-hitting McCullum has played 52 Tests, 171 ODIs and 40 Twenty20 Internationals for New Zealand and is one of only three men to have registered centuries in all three international forms of the game, along with Chris Gayle and Mahela Jayawardene.

Prior, who has occupied a similar role to McCullum at international level, opening in limited overs cricket but dropping down the order for Tests, has played 31 Tests, 55 ODIs and ten T20Is.

Sussex continue their title defence when they play Somerset at Taunton tomorrow (25th June)

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