Prior looks forward to “landmark” Sussex benefit

Eleven years after making his Sussex debut, Matt Prior has been awarded a benefit by the county for 2012.

The 29-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman’s appearances for his county are limited these days by England commitments. A fixture in the Test side for the past three years, he hopes to add to his 47 Test caps during next month’s series against Pakistan.

There is another series in Sri Lanka before the start of the domestic campaign and summer series against both South Africa and West Indies, so Prior faces a busy schedule over the next eight months.

But a benefit is a deserved reward for Prior, who came up through the county’s youth system after moving to Sussex from South Africa as a child and has been one of their most consistent performers with both bat and gloves during a decade of success at Hove.

Prior said: “Sussex is a very special place and I am honoured to be awarded a benefit year for 2012. I feel privileged to have been able to enjoy, and be a part of, the major success here over the past few years.

“I look forward to being involved with the county for many years to come, and with the benefit season a landmark year for my career I am hoping 2012 will be a great year.”

Sussex chairman Jim May said: “It has been really exciting to see the way Matt has developed from a young player to him playing a part in the most successful side in Sussex’s history, winning the County Championship for the first time in 2003.

“He has since gone on to become the world’s best wicketkeeper-batsman in officially the world’s best Test side, and this is testament to the hard work, dedication and ability which has taken him on this journey.

“We’re very pleased that he is the club’s beneficiary in 2012 and I wish him every success with the benefit year and his future career.”

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