By James Elliott
Matt Prior will captain England for their warm up games before the Ashes series begins after a stiff back prevented Alastair Cook from playing.
The Sussex wicket keeper was chosen to lead England for their first warm up game against a Western Australia XI with the match ending in a draw.
However despite being selected to captain for the warm up matches Prior stated that there is no guarantee he will be in charge when the first test begins, even if Cook is still injured.
“If Cooky did go down for that first Test, just because I’m vice-captain doesn’t mean I’ll automatically step in as captain,” Prior said yesterday to a reporter from the Daily Telegraph.
“The management and selectors would have to make a decision on that. So it’s all very hypothetical. At the moment I’ve been given the opportunity to captain in this match and I won’t look any further ahead than that. Hopefully we won’t even have to talk about this because Cooky will be absolutely fine.”
Prior has already found the burden of being vice-captain and wicket keeper quite challenging and the added pressure of being named captain may confront him with even bigger problems.
“I didn’t find it a burden at all, I’ve loved doing it,” Prior said.
“What I said was that I didn’t realise how much more I had to take on and I didn’t quite get it right. That wasn’t an excuse for not performing; it was just something that I had to learn. It was a good learning experience. I love being vice-captain and being part of this team. This is a great opportunity to put some of that immediately into practice.
Alex Stewart found that being captain and wicket keeper a burden when he led England during the 1998/99 Ashes Series.
For a man with a great deal of energy Stewart struggled throughout the tour and England went on to lose 3-1.
The first test for the 2013/14 series begins in just over two weeks’ time in Brisbane and the England squad, the fans coming to Australia, and the fans at home will all be praying for Alastair Cook to be fully fit.