Glamorgan weigh up the worth of injured fast bowler September 3, 2007

Simon Jones linked with Hampshire

Cricinfo staff

Simon Jones: injured but sought-after © Getty Images
Glamorgan have confirmed that their fast bowler, Simon Jones, has been given permission to talk to Hampshire about a possible transfer.

Jones shot to fame during England's Ashes victory in 2005, taking 18 wickets at 21 in the first four Tests. But he missed the decisive Test at The Oval with an ankle injury, and has not been fit to represent England for more than two years.

Knee and calf problems have limited Jones' appearances for Glamorgan as well, and with his ECB central contract set to expire at the end of the month, a fresh start is being sought by both the player and the club, who may struggle to foot his wage bill without help from the England & Wales Cricket Board.

"It is enormously important to keep Simon at Glamorgan but what we cannot do is put the county at financial risk," the club chairman, Paul Russell, told BBC Sport. "The major objective for Simon is to get back into the England set-up so that he is playing in the 2009 Ashes series.

Glamorgan's short-term money worries, however, are offset by the knowledge that they have secured the rights to host one of the five Ashes matches in 2009, and Russell would dearly love to have a fit Jones representing Glamorgan in their maiden Test match.

"We can afford Simon, we are pulling ourselves out of financial difficulties, but it is a question of us getting value for money," said Russell. "He is a valuable icon of the county and we have put it to Simon that we think it would be best for his development if he stays at Glamorgan.

Hampshire missed out on an Ashes staging agreement, but with Shane Warne at the helm and an ambitious chairman in Rod Bransgrove behind the scenes, they are keen to add to their list of high-profile signings. "I can confirm that Hampshire have been given permission to speak to Simon," said Russell, "but I'm unaware of any approach."