Jones promises England will not back down
Simon Jones has promised Australia there will be no let-up from England when it comes to aggressive cricket this season after being involved in a fiery exchange in the last one-dayer at Edgbaston.
Jones sparked controversy in Tuesday's washed out day-night match against Australia when an attempted throw at the stumps instead hit Matthew Hayden in the chest. A furious Hayden let fly verbally at Jones, who had raised his hand in apology. As the opener walked down the pitch, Andrew Flintoff and Paul Collingwood raced in to support their teammate as Ricky Ponting advanced from the non-striker's end to calm Hayden down.
Both Ponting and Michael Vaughan, the England captain, were subsequently summoned before David Shepherd and Billy Bowden, the standing umpires, in a bid to ensure there was no flare-up in Saturday's final at Lord's.
Jeff Crowe, the match referee, said he would not be taking any action. But with a five-match Ashes series to come and England desperate to end a run of eight straight campaign losses against their oldest foes, the incident underlined how both sides are determined not to give the other an edge.
"It's been a while since Australia have had something like this on the field, but we're a young and confident side and we're playing well and I think that comes out of us when we play," said Jones, who later had Hayden lbw with a textbook inswinger.
"We play in a controlled and aggressive manner, but we don't go over the top with that," added Jones, the son of Jeff Jones, the former England left-arm quick.
"You can't turn the other cheek or do anything like that on the field, you've got to get in there and get involved and if we can keep doing that, it's going to be a good summer."
In their three meetings so far this season, England have beaten Australia twice. They won this month's Twenty20 international, the first on English soil, by 100 runs at Hampshire's Rose Bowl ground and followed that up with a three-wicket win at Bristol on June 19.
However, Australia - who suffered an extraordinary five-wicket defeat against Bangladesh, looked to be finding their form when they later beat England by 57 runs in the tournament at Chester-le-Street on June 23.
After Saturday's final, the teams meet for three separate one-day internationals before the first Test starts at Lord's on July 21.
And Jones, 26, whose career was put on hold for some 18 months after a severe knee injury sustained fielding in the first Ashes Test in Brisbane in November 2002, stressed: "Any game against Australia is going to be full on.
"Australia are one of the best teams in the world and there is obviously a bit of history there and it's an enjoyable time for the boys because I think it brings the best out of you." Jones though played down any suggestion of permanent ill-feeling between himself and Hayden, whom he also apologised to after the match. "I'm sure this incident is going to get blown out of proportion. Every bowler in the world throws it back at some stage and unfortunately for him he got hit.
"He wasn't too happy, but I apologised and that was the end of it. I slipped when I threw it and just dragged it down so it hit him and he wasn't too happy, but Iwouldn't have been too happy either if a bowler had done that to me.
"We shook hands afterwards. He knows the game and knows that things happen. If I'd have thrown it and not apologised then it might have been a different story, but I went up to him straight away to apologise and that's it."