Simon Jones January 12, 2014

'I achieved what not many from Wales have'

Simon Jones on his dad's cricket legacy, and how Tendulkar could have been his first Test victim

First family member to play for England
I was actually following in the footsteps of my dad. He played 15 Tests and could have gone on to great things had injuries not got in the way. He was 26 when he last played for England, but it's something to be proud of. My dad did fantastically well. You do get looked over sometimes, playing for Glamorgan, so to do what he did was brilliant. People say about playing more, but I just look at the positives and think I achieved what not many guys before me have done, coming from Wales and playing for England that many times.

First Test wicket
It should have been Sachin Tendulkar. It wouldn't have been a bad first wicket. He nicked one to Graham Thorpe at first slip and he should have caught it, but he didn't. My first one was Ajay Ratra, the India wicketkeeper, who nicked one behind to Stewie [Alec Stewart]. The feeling was one of relief, really. As a batter you want to get to 10, 20 or 30, and as a bowler you just want your first wicket.

First Ashes Test of 2005
It was so strange. There were nerves but there was expectation as well. For the first time in years we had a chance of beating the best in the business and everyone knew it. We walked through the Long Room at Lord's and I'd never heard it like that. Normally it's a subdued place where they give you a polite clap and maybe the odd pat on the back, but that day, on the opening Test of the summer, it was absolutely bouncing. They were all going crazy, really cheering us on. We couldn't believe it as players. A couple of the lads were looking around and saying, "What's going on here?" I turned to look at Fred [Andrew Flintoff], someone who has played everywhere, and he didn't know what to make of it.

First major injury that set me back
I had niggles in my younger days but you just get on with it and deal with them. The first big one was back in 2002 with England [Jones ruptured a cruciate ligament in his right knee] in Australia. To spend 18 months out of the game is horrible. People don't realise the mental test that is sometimes. I walked into a tea room once in Swansea and there was an old cricketer in there. It was in 2007, just after the Ashes, and I did my ankle and hurt my knee coming back in India. He said that it must feel like I was getting paid for doing nothing. I don't know if it was just in jest but I was absolutely spewing with him for saying that. There are no hard feelings but there's a time and a place.

First time I realised I was good enough to have a career in cricket
Some people used to say I was quick growing up. I broke a few people's arms when I was 12, but it was probably around the time I was 16 or 17 I reckon it came together. Matt Maynard came down to Millfield School to see me and sign me up. He thought I had got a bit of potential. I was there under Duncan Fletcher when he was coach, but it was when Jeff Hammond took the role after him that he said I was ready.