County news December 16, 2012

Jones to play first-class matches

ESPNcricinfo staff

Simon Jones, the former England fast bowler who has seen his career punctuated by injury, will attempt to return to red-ball cricket next season after renegotiating his contract with Glamorgan.

Jones, who will be 34 on Christmas day, helped England win the Ashes in 2005 but has suffered with knee problems ever since he ruptured an anterior cruciate ligament in Brisbane in 2002.

He has played only three County Championship matches since 2008 but now feels he can manage his workload and has agreed a deal for six first-class matches in 2013.

"I've agreed to do these four-day games because I don't want to leave anything in the tank," he told BBC Radio Wales. "It's a continuous thing, looking after my knee. I have to do the right preparation and rest up properly. It's hard work but it keeps me playing the game I love so it's not a hardship."

Jones' Test career was limited to 18 appearances, during which he took 59 wickets at 28.23 and now, feeling back to fitness, he is hoping to help Glamorgan mount a promotion push next season. "I still feel I've got a couple of years left in me," Jones said. "And that's why I've agreed to do these four-day games.

"It's one of those things. I just want to get everything out of my system so when I finish I know I've done everything I can in the game and then I can relax and just chill with the kids. I have to play six four-day games and obviously a number of one-day games as well, which I'm backing myself to do. It's the best I've felt in a long, long time."

Glamorgan are short of a quality seam bowler, having seen James Harris move to Middlesex, leaving their attack mostly comprised of young and relatively inexperienced bowlers. If Jones can regain form with the red ball, his experience will complement Graham Wagg with the new ball.

Jones has taken 125 first-class wickets for Glamorgan, the club where he began his career in 1998. He left for Worcestershire in 2008, where he claimed another 42 wickets at 18.02, before moving to Hampshire. But his time on the south coast was thwarted with injury and he played only two first-class matches before securing a pay-as-you-play loan deal back at Glamorgan in 2011, primarily for one-day cricket.