England Lions v South Africans, Grace Road August 13, 2008

Injured Jones to miss tour games

Cricinfo staff


Simon Jones hasn't played for England since the Ashes in 2005 © Getty Images
 

Simon Jones has pulled out of the England Lions squad which will play two one-dayers against the South Africans. Jones is suffering a 'slight hamstring strain' and will be out of action for at least a week. Steve Kirby, the Gloucestershire fast bowler, will join the squad in Jones' place.

Jones switched to Worcestershire from Glamorgan this season, and has enhanced his claims for a Test spot with 42 wickets in nine Championship matches so far. He was overlooked for the Tests against South Africa, but a good performance against the visitors at Grace Road could have strengthened his claims for an England recall.

Meanwhile, South Africa's pace attack has been strengthened by the return of Dale Steyn, who is expected play Thursday's game. Steyn missed the third and fourth Tests because of a broken thumb but has recovered from his injury.

South Africa are also likely to rest Graeme Smith, Mark Boucher, and Jacques Kallis for Thursday's match but coach Mickey Arthur said they would return for the second game on Saturday.

"The Test players are a little tired after an already too long tour but we are motivated for the ODI series," Arthur told Supersport. "I also want Jacques to get away from cricket for a while. I am not concerned about his batting in the long term but I'd like to give him a break."

South Africa's one-day specialists - Albie Morkel, Justin Ontong, Herschelle Gibbs, Vernon Philander and Johan Botha - have joined the squad and will feature in a Twenty20 match against England Cricketers Association's Masters XI on Wednesday.

"The ODI players are ready for action after our success in the test series," Arthur said. "They also want a taste of it. Their enthusiasm will certainly help."

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