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.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Jonam on January 14, 2014, 1:42 GMT

    May be it was just because I wanted the Aussies beaten, but SJ's bowling in that 2005 Ashes was the best swing bowling I had seen. Never saw the 2 Ws bowl to compare. Such a shame about the injuries.

  • David on January 13, 2014, 14:38 GMT

    Had he stayed fit, England would never have declined after the 2005 Ashes. The whole point of the 2005 bowling attack is that even if you managed to get through Flintoff and Harmison, you'd then have to face Jones, with little let-up. I thought Jones could have been the best of the lot - he could bowl fast like Fred and Harmy, but could also swing the old ball around corners. Most sporting careers are short, and even if Jones at his peak was shorter than most, I hope he is proud of what he achieved.

  • John on January 13, 2014, 9:24 GMT

    Cricket's the loser Simon, hope ECB took care of you during your injured time cos they owe you a lot and then some.

  • Ed on January 13, 2014, 8:03 GMT

    I'll never forget watching him bowl super fast swinging deliveries to some of the worlds best (Aus at the time) batsmen, and seeing them be totally deceived. The 2005 tests were his by rights. Thank you for the memories - injuries maybe took a few years off your career - but nothing can take those brilliant spells of bowling away from you mate. Well done.

  • Dummy4 on January 12, 2014, 21:30 GMT

    Jones caused us havoc in the 2005 ashes. Over and over again he'd come on in the middle overs and knock us over with pace and reverse swing. He was a great bowler to watch, and I was really disappointed when his career got cut short. He could have been one of England's finest fast bowlers.

  • Android on January 12, 2014, 18:55 GMT

    The only 3 all-world fast bowling talents of the mid-2000s were Bond, Jones, and Asif - and none of them got to enjoy Test careers of any length. Cricket was so much the poorer for it.

  • ESPN on January 12, 2014, 18:40 GMT

    Is he still playing ? Poor guy to be cut short of a career which was going up and up

  • Android on January 12, 2014, 11:00 GMT

    He won't be ever playing again? Is his injury that serious?

  • Android on January 12, 2014, 10:00 GMT

    wasim akram identified SJ to be a great bowler for england but unfortunately he got his knee damaged it was a nasty injury i was watching it on telly after that injury SJ struggled he was the best bowler that england would ever had he had swing and pace