London: England wicketkeeper Matt Prior has revealed that he came close to leaving wicketkeeping after he suffered a nervous breakdown following the tour of India in 2007.
Prior was criticized in the series, which England lost 1-0, and was dropped by the selectors after his butter-fingered wicketkeeping continued against Sri Lanka later that year.
But now, the 29-year-old is riding high as one of the most vital components in the World’s No.1 ranked Test side.
“I’d always looked at this current series with India as a benchmark of how far I’ve come since 2007. In the small world of cricket, in my life, I got a heavy battering from the Press and the public back then — a real character assassination,” a daily quoted Prior, as saying.
“The more I got crucified, the more I went into my shell and it was seen as arrogance. But inside I was all over the place. I’d spend six hours a day panicking I was going to drop a catch. I’d come off the pitch a nervous wreck - it was hideous.”
“The first few weeks after being dropped saw me get out of the limelight and away from the criticism. But my confidence was shot. I was asking myself if I even wanted to keep wicket anymore and thought about continuing solely as a batsman. I was deadly serious,” he added.
He further said at that point he sat down with people he trusted and decided that “I was not a quitter and that I owed it to myself to have another go”.
“I hate the saying ‘what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger’ — but it’s exactly that,” he added.