Prior says England lacked respect

• Prior says lack of professionalism cost England dearly in Ashes
Matt Prior and Stuart Broad talk man down off Sydney bridge

Matt Prior has revealed how a lack of professionalism by England's players and a loss of respect for their captain and coach helped to lead to the team's downfall during their disastrous Ashes campaign.

While acknowledging that Australia had played excellently to secure a 5-0 whitewash and regain the urn, the wicketkeeper revealed that standards slipped in the England dressing room and said a re-evaluation of priorities was needed before the team could move forward.

"It all goes back to the dressing room and making sure that environment is right and on this tour, I think we let it slip a bit," he wrote in his column for the Daily Telegraph. "We talk about one per centers, the little things that can make a big difference when added up. It is always those that go first and we were not quick enough to realise that.

"We let a few things slide. They appear trivial issues to those on the outside but they are important when building a team environment.

"Little things like wearing the right kit, turning up to meetings on time, not five minutes late. It is about the respect you have for your team-mates, coach and captain. In any team, you have to have strong values and beliefs and we need to start again and rediscover those before we can move forward."

Prior, who featured in the first three Tests in Australia but was dropped for the final two Tests, was at pains to stress that he was not apportioning blame to any one player. "To clarify, I am not talking about particular individuals, I am talking about us letting a few things slide as a whole group," he wrote. He added that the players had not been as brutally honest with themselves as was required.

The whitewash had resulted in England reaching what Prior called "rock bottom" and has led to calls for Alastair Cook to be removed from his position as England captain. Prior is adamant that, despite the humiliating defeat, Cook is the right man to take the team forward. He said the players had let down Cook and also gave his backing to the team director, Andy Flower.

Prior's comments came after he and his England team-mate Stuart Broad helped stop a man jumping to his death from a Sydney bridge.

Broad and Prior were returning from a post-Ashes function with supporters on Tuesday night when they noticed a man standing on the edge of Pyrmont bridge.

At first they thought he was doing it as a dare but quickly realised it was a suicide bid and along with security guard, Terry Minish, pulled the man across the rails to safety and stayed with him chatting for an hour until police arrived.

"We just did what anybody would do in that situation," said Prior. © 2014 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

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