Wisden FIve Cricketers of the Year 2006 April 12, 2006

Jones collects Wisden award

Cricinfo staff

Simon Jones is presented with the Wisden Cricketer of the Year award by his father, Jeff Jones during the Wisden 2006 launch © Getty Images
Simon Jones was named one of Wisden's five Cricketers of the Year at a dinner in London on Tuesday.

"It's something I've wanted for a while," he said. "I've seen a lot of the other guys pick it up and when you do get it it's a once-in-a-lifetime thing. It was really nice to get it and it's a real accolade, especially following the likes of other Glamorgan players like Don Shepherd, Alan Jones, Matthew Maynard and Steve Watkin."

Jones, who was presented with a leather-bound copy of the 2006 Wisden Cricketers' Almanack by his father, Jeff, during the evening, said that it capped an unbelievable 12 months.

"To beat the Aussies was something special. We had a feeling we might push them but to beat them as we did was a great feeling. The reception we had from the crowds and the public was amazing, and it's something I don't think I will experience again."

At the dinner, Kate Hoey, the former sports minister who was the evening's speaker, criticised the ECB's decision to sell all TV rights to satellite broadcaster BSkyB while David Morgan, the ECB chief executive, sat feet away. She also slammed the handling of the Zimbabwe issue.

Hoey concluded her speech by calling for government incentives to promote the game in state schools, with suggestions that grants could be offered to any which played competitive cricket. She also admitted that when she was in office, between 1998 and 2001, she struggled to get cricket taken seriously, but added that the situation had now changed with the success of the national side last summer.