Perth club attempts to lure Simon Jones
Simon Jones is reportedly planning club appearances in Perth as he tries to recover from a serious knee injury in time for the Ashes. Andrew Flintoff has been a target of Australian cricket's attention this week after David Graveney, the England chairman of selectors, suggested a grade stint for the allrounder, who had ankle surgery on Wednesday, before the defence of the urn.
Jones was operated on in June and was told the recovery would take at least three months, giving him some hope of regaining fitness by November 23, although he hasn't played a Test since England took a 2-1 lead in the Ashes at Trent Bridge last year. The West Australian said Jones had spoken to Perth's Subiaco-Floreat club, but was unable to confirm whether he would appear for the side if he did not make the tour squad.
"He is hopeful of being fit but doesn't know how soon he will be able to play," Alan Bolton, the Subiaco-Floreat cricket director, said. "He may come out and work on his cricket so that even if he misses the start of the tour, he can push for selection later in the summer. We have had someone in contact with him and although he remains an outside chance, it would be tremendous for the club and for the WACA if he played."
Jones suffered an awful knee injury while fielding on the first day of the Ashes series in 2002-03, but he recovered to play a crucial part in England's 2005 triumph. With Troy Cooley, the current Australian bowling coach, working on his action, Jones exposed the Australians with his reverse-swing and picked up 18 wickets at 21 in four games, including two five-wicket hauls.
Australian clubs are encouraging the England players to fine-tune with them to help increase the standard of the local competitions. Queensland Cricket officials have asked Stuart Law to tell Flintoff, his Lancashire team-mate, he could get 13 days of cricket in before the first Test at Brisbane. "As well as playing grade," a Queensland Cricket spokesman told The Courier-Mail, "they could train with the Bulls if they wanted to."