Simon Jones is set to return © Getty Images

Simon Jones is still on course to make his comeback to cricket in April. Jones, a pivotal bowler in the 2005 Ashes, missed the last duel Down Under and was unavailable for the World Cup, too, after a knee operation last June.

Jones is now bowling from a half run-up after returning from warm-weather training in South Africa. Glamorgan's coach Adrian Shaw added: "He's been bowling off a dozen or so paces here at the National Cricket Centre in Cardiff as well."

The ECB are confidend that Jones, who has been out of cricket for nearly a year, will be fit enough for his county's first Championship match, when Glamorgan head to the County Ground in Essex on April 25.

Whether he will be deemed match-ready for England's first home Test of 2007, is another matter. The first Test, against West Indies, is the traditional curtain raiser at Lord's. It begins on Thursday, May 17.