Jones eyes England return
Geraint Jones will not give up on winning a recall to the England fold despite his latest omission for the Test series in Sri Lanka.
By Paul Higham
Last Updated: 25/10/07 2:21pm
Kent wicketkeeper Geraint Jones insists he is still hopeful of winning a recall to the England fold despite his latest omission for the Test series in Sri Lanka.
Jones has not played for England since the third Ashes Test in Perth last December, and he has watched as a number of other options have been handed the gloves.
Chris Read, Paul Nixon and Matt Prior have all been given a chance, while Durham's Phil Mustard is the latest man to try his luck behind the stumps.
Jones has been in good touch for Kent this season and is hopeful of winning a return back into the England set-up, despite Mustard and Prior being given the nod for the three-Test tour of Sri Lanka.
"The Sri Lanka tour was a bit of an outside shot," said Jones, who has won 34 Test and 49 one-day caps.
"It is something for the future but I think for this winter they are looking elsewhere. But hopefully I can use my county form next season to force my way back in
"I had a poor start to the summer and it wasn't until the fifth game that I started to play well and I averaged around 50, but it was just the first four or five games that dragged the average down. I was happy with the finish so I just want to carry that on next year."
The England wicketkeeping position has been a poisoned chalice of late, with selectors seemingly striving to find their version of Adam Gilchrist.
Jones was dropped in favour of Read after his batting struggling at Test level, but was controversially chosen for the Ashes tour Down Under.
After struggling in Australia, Read returned behind the stumps, before veteran Paul Nixon was then chosen for the World Cup in the Caribbean.
Nixon handled himself with credit but Sussex man Prior then got his chance with Peter Moores taking over as coach, and he impressed against the West Indies before then hitting a rough patch of his own.
An injury during the World Twenty20 gave Mustard his chance and it now seems a straight fight between the two men for the wicketkeeper's spot.
Jones will not give up hope of returning to the England fold though, and the 31-year-old hopes more fine form with Twenty20 Cup champions Kent will aid his chances of a recall.
"We won the Twenty20 which was fantastic, but the Championship and the other one-day form was a bit in-different so that plan for next year is to combine it all together because we could have had a great year," added Jones, who is currently in Hong Kong to take part in the Cricket Sixes tournament alongside Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath and Brian Lara.
"We were flying in the Pro40 for a while but we lost three or four games in the middle which really threw us and we were struggling from there. Our one-day form was always good, but it was not good enough.
"I was looking to relax over the winter after having the last six or seven years on the road which has been quite tough so it is nice to be able to relax and play a bit of cricket."