KP eyes Jones return
Skipper Kevin Pietersen wants Simon Jones back in his England side once he returns from yet another knee operation.
By Paul Higham
Last Updated: 02/09/08 11:22am
England skipper Kevin Pietersen wants Simon Jones back in his side ahead of next year's Ashes, once he returns from yet another knee operation.
Jones has endured horrible injury problems since helping England win the Ashes in 2005, and just as he was playing his way back into form with Worcestershire this season a knee injury ended his campaign early.
Pietersen is still a huge fan of the 29-year-old Welshman, though, and wants to have him involved with England in the future.
During his short spell in charge Pietersen has already brought back Steve Harmison and persuaded him to reverse his international one-day retirement to help England to go 4-0 up over South Africa in the current series.
Now Jones is on Pietersen's radar and he says that the paceman would have been heading to India with England had he not suffered another injury setback.
"I'm a huge Simon Jones fan," said Pietersen. "I'm a good mate of his, I've always kept in touch with Simon and I speak to him regularly.
"I'm probably not as distraught as he is about the operation he had last week but I'm gutted because I wanted Simon to come to India and play for me.
"He was an unsung hero of 2005 and he definitely has it and he's someone I definitely want to get involved again."
With Jones missing out on India he now faces a race to be fit and playing again for the very start of next summer to challenge for an England return just ahead of the Ashes.
The opening Ashes Test will be played at the revamped Swalec Stadium in Cardiff - where England will go for a 5-0 whitewash against South Africa that will take them to number two in the world one-day rankings.
Pietersen is desperate to make it 5-0 on Wednesday and the captain is hoping for a repeat of the desire England showed when still battling to win at Lord's despite already being 3-0 ahead.
"I think one of the biggest performances in this series was on Sunday," explained Pietersen.
"We won the series 3-0 and the guys could have taken their foot off the pedal and we could have easily lost.
"We were 20-odd for two after seven overs and in the next 10 overs we scored more than a hundred to win the fixture which just shows how well the guys have played and the confidence I want them to play with.
"Wednesday will be a different game but I'm sure the boys will be up for it because it's a big target at the end of the game to reach second in the world."