England in Australia, 2006-07 July 10, 2006

Jones optimistic about Ashes chances

Cricinfo staff

"There's always a possibility for me to go. I want to push for a place to go on that tour." © Getty Images
Simon Jones, the England fast bowler, hasn't ruled himself out of playing in this winter's Ashes in Australia, despite undergoing serious knee surgery last month.

Jones twisted his left knee in India earlier in the year, forcing him to return home and miss the entire tour but flew to America to have microfracture surgery by the surgeon Dr Richard Steadman, and will remain on crutches for three more weeks. However, he expects to return to full training in September which, theoretically, could allow him to press for a ticket to Australia.

"I've got to work as hard as I can because there is no better feeling than to play against Australia in an Ashes series. That is what's keeping me going," he told BBC Sport. "There's always a possibility for me to go. I want to push for a place to go on that tour."

Jones famously, and horrifically, twisted his knee at Brisbane during the 2002-03 Ashes series. A career-threatening injury, few believed it possible he would return to Test cricket. However, he has been an instrumental bowler for England in the past 18 months, especially last summer where his reverse swing perplexed the Australians. Indeed, he admitted he is calling on the memories of England's glorious 2005 in a bid to remain optimistic.

"The DVD has been out a few times just to keep me going," he said. "It has been hard work these last five weeks and it's only going to get harder, but the rewards will be better if I do get back.

"I've got six to seven years ahead of me. I just want to keep going. It's never entered my mind to give up. I just laugh at the people who write me off in the press. I use it as fuel to prove them wrong and make them eat their words."