Geraint Jones July 2, 2012

'I don't care if it wasn't out'

Interview by Jack Wilson
Geraint Jones remembers the catch he took to end Edgbaston 2005, but little of the celebrations that followed

What's your earliest cricket memory?
My elder sister Mari was a bit of demon bowler - and she was pretty quick too. When I was seven or eight, she hit me flush in the box. It still hurts now.

And your most treasured memory?
People may say that catch at Edgbaston but I think finding out I was going to play my first Test was even bigger for me. I remember Vaughany [Michael Vaughan] telling me in the practice session leading up to the game that I was in, and it was extra special because my wife had just flown out for the game. To be able to go back and tell her she'd be able to watch me make my Test debut was a good feeling.

What was it like after taking that catch to get rid of Michael Kasprowicz?
Relief more than anything. We'd gone from a winning position to looking like we'd lose. I just remember Billy [Bowden] putting his finger up and all the emotion coming out of me. I went mad for a few minutes after that.

It wasn't out, was it?
People say that to me. It might take a bit of the gloss off it but I couldn't care less.

Can you remember any of the famed Ashes celebration parties?
I know we went into London and a few of my mates managed to get into some place. I couldn't tell you where it was or when it was, though. There were a few sore heads.

Who hits the gloves the hardest?
I'd have to say Freddie [Flintoff] during the 2005 Ashes. He had loads of pace behind him and he really whacked into the gloves. Harmy [Steve Harmison] was a bit different as he had a bit more bounce, but Freddie's balls would just keep coming at you like a missile.

Have you got any superstitions?
I have a lot of habits - I don't know if they're superstitions! I always put my left shoe on first and then my left pad on before my right. I tend to only like to use one shower or one toilet at a ground. Kent has just been redeveloped and I've only used one toilet and one shower. I get a few odd looks when I'm standing and waiting.

What's the strangest way you've got out?
It'd have to be the way I got out in my last Test, against Australia in Perth. I played a sweep, they appealed for lbw, then Ricky Ponting ran me out from silly mid-off. The next thing I knew, he was jumping up and down and I trudged off knowing that was me done from Test cricket for a while.

What was it like picking up your MBE?
It was a great honour but the whole experience was nerve-racking. There were lots of protocols to remember - like, you have to wait for the queen to speak to you first, you have got to wait for her to put her hand out, and all sorts like that. It added to what was a special moment.

Who's the greatest cricketer that's ever lived?
For the length of time he's played the game and all the records he's broken, I'd have to say Sachin Tendulkar. He still has the passion to carry on, which is testament to the man.

One piece of advice you'd give a young wicketkeeper?
Keep it simple. They talk about footwork, but the most important thing is to be still when you take the ball. Also, it helps to keep fit. The older I've got, the fitter I've become.

Favourite shot?
The cut.

How many grips on your bat?
Just the one.

The Olympics is coming up. Are you into it?
I've got bit of interest in it. I want to see the 100m final with Usain Bolt. I'll sit down and watch that.

"When getting my MBE there were lots of protocols to remember - like, you have for the queen to speak to you first, you have got to wait for her to put her hand out, and all sorts like that"

Have you got tickets to any events?
We tried but there was no chance of getting hold of any.

But you have an MBE!
I know - but the computer doesn't recognise that!

Are you handy at any other sports?
I've played a bit of hockey and I like to play golf too. I've been known to dabble in a bit of clay-pigeon shooting as well.

You nick one off in the World Cup final - would you walk?
It'd depend on how many I'd got. Now with DRS you're unlikely to get away with it anyway.

If you were stranded on a desert island, which three things would you take with you?
A knife, obviously, some music and a mattress.

Papua New Guinea, Wales, Australia, England - you've got links to a lot of countries. What languages can you speak?
Just English I'm afraid. My dad speaks Welsh but I can't.

Which three people from history would you want round a table for the dream dinner party?
My mother passed away when I was 12, so it'd be good to have her there. Tiger Woods is a bit of a sporting idol for me and he'd have a few stories to tell. Oh, and Cheryl Cole.

Who's going to win the T20 World Cup?
England.

Tell us something we don't know about you.
I'm a farmer as well as a cricketer.

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