London, July 22: Under-pressure England wicketkeeper Matt Prior has pulled out of the ongoing Test series against India and is taking a break from cricket for the rest of the summer due to injury.
Prior, who was part of the first two Tests against India and saw his team lose yesterday by 95 runs, announced his decision after the match at Lord's. There were calls for his axing for the next Test after being poor both behind and in front of the stumps.
"I'm not doing justice to myself and more importantly the team and that is what matters first and foremost," Prior was quoted as saying on England and Wales Cricket Board's (ECB) official website on Monday.
"I tore my quad before the first Test and my right hand has been beaten to a pulp, but the main issue is the Achilles. Now we have the time, I want to be pro-active about how we deal with it so I imagine that I'll have an operation.
"I've always said as long as I can do my job I will manage the pain and get on with it, but it has now got to the point where I can't do my job to the level I expect of myself," he added.
The stumper, who has played 79 Tests, said it is a "huge decision" and could end his international career.
"It is a huge decision and not one I've taken lightly obviously because I could have played my last game," he explained.
"I've made my decision for the good of the team and whoever comes in I genuinely wish them the best of luck and hope they go well and perform and help the team win. That is all I want.
"If that happens and I don't play again, then that was my lot. I'll be disappointed because there are a few things that I wanted to achieve and thought I would, but I can also look back and know I did some pretty good things."
The 32-year-old has had a poor two Tests against India but he had the backing of his captain Alastair Cook. Prior had scores of 5, 23 and 12 in the two matches of the series.
Speaking after the match at Lord's, Cook said Prior was still the best wicketkeeper-batsman in England. "He is the best wicketkeeper-batsman in the country," Cook said yesterday.