A Q&A discussion with Matt Prior and Phil De Freitas in Dubai
FTI Consulting is proud to partner with the England and Wales Cricket Board and the Professional Cricketers’ Association to support the FTI Most Valuable Player rankings.
On Thursday 27th February, FTI Consulting were delighted to host a Q&A discussion with Matt Prior and Phil De Freitas.
England cricketer Matt Prior is a wicket-keeper, and aggressive right-handed batsman. With an international Test debut score of 126, Prior became the first English wicketkeeper to hit a century in his debut match in early 2007.
Prior has been involved in three successful Ashes winning series and was named England player of the year in 2012. He has played 75 Test matches, scored nearly 4,000 runs, seven centuries and taken 230 dismissals. He has also appeared in 68 One Day Internationals.
Prior was named as vice captain for the Ashes tour to Australia in 2013/14. But back-to-back Ashes tours treated him unkindly, bringing a marked slump in his form and he was dropped for Jonny Bairstow for the final two Tests in Australia and, although he still possesses a Test average above 40, he begins the 2014 county season with Sussex with his Test spot seriously in question.
Retired English cricketer Phillip De Freitas played county cricket for Leicestershire, Lancashire and Derbyshire, as well as appearing in 44 Test matches and 103 ODIs. A cricket writer, once noted that “De Freitas was an explosive hitter when the mood took him, an aggressive pace bowler, inclined to pitch everything short and a spectacular fielder”.
Q. England were recently the best team in the world, what did the team do to achieve this?
Matt Prior: We did a lot of things right. It started at a low point, we got bowled out for 51 by the West Indies in 2009, with a performance like that you have nowhere else to go but up! I remember sitting in a team meeting with the then new England captain Andrew Strauss and the then temporary coach, Andy Flower. We had a frank and honest chat. It was time to make changes and this was led by Flower and Strauss - the dominant figures.
As a group we decided to play a certain brand of cricket, go about our business and work hard. We decided as a team we needed to lift our standards in certain areas. People will look for complicated things like technique and tactics of the game but it can be simple things that work such as team values – turning up on time, wearing the right kit. The honour and pride of playing for England, respecting the cap. We started there and began putting in good performances again and then built up the squad. We learnt to win again.
Phillip De Freitas: I played in some great England sides but back then it was a time of individuals. I have a lot of respect for the present England side and the professional set-up.