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Prior's 100% for Twenty20

Matt Prior insists England must use this week's Twenty20 internationals against the West Indies to lay down a marker ahead of the World Cup in South Africa later this year.

The back-to-back games at The Oval this Thursday and Friday have been put into a new context by the development of the new World Cup tournament.

No longer can Twenty20 internationals be considered one-off hit and giggle affairs if England are to ensure they are fully prepared for the September World Cup.

And Prior said: "It's very important you keep focus on what your end game is and for England that is to be the best team in the world.

"Every win takes you that much closer. This week is not just a jolly and a good event, it is important stuff.

"We want to take these Twenty20s seriously and we want to win."

Prior's England team-mate Kevin Pietersen recently hit out at the previous coaching regime for "neglecting" one-day cricket.

But Prior is excited about the dawning of a new era for England, under new coach Peter Moores and new one-day captain Paul Collingwood.

He explained: "It will be different. It is a clean slate, we have new faces in the squad and it is a very exciting time.

"It is fantastic to have Mooresy there. He knows my game well from when he was my coach at Sussex and on top of that he is a fantastic coach, a fantastic motivator and he is able to get the best out of people.

"Andy Flower and Alan Donald have come in and been brilliant.

"It has created a very good atmosphere in the dressing room and an atmosphere that is allowing people to go out and perform."

England's 14-man one-day squad included two new faces in South African-born batsman Jonathan Trott and proven one-day expert Dimitri Mascarenhas.

Despite being overlooked for the World Cup, Prior has nailed down the wicketkeepers' role - reward for a brilliant introduction to the Test arena.

Prior began the Test series with a debut hundred at Lord's and finished with an average of 64.80, a statistic bettered only by Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Pietersen.

There is a suggestion Prior could be elevated up the order as England look to attack the early powerplays in a change of tactical approach from the World Cup.

With the England squad meeting up this evening, Prior is not yet aware of what Moores has planned.

But if he does open the batting then he will not only shoulder the responsibility of rattling up quick runs but also piling up the cash.

England's sponsors' Vodafone have vowed to donate 50 to charity for every run scored in the match.

Prior added: "You want to earn as much money as possible and hopefully England can earn more - because that means we will have won!"

But England expect the West Indies to be far tougher opponents in the limited overs format than they were in slumping to a 3-0 Test series defeat.

"I think they will be more dangerous. You have to respect the players they have. Someone like Chris Gayle can take the game away from you in 10 overs.

"It is going to be a tough series, definitely," said Prior.

"But we also have some very, very good players."

source - sportinglife.com
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