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Page last updated at 07:24 GMT, Friday, 4 July 2008 08:24 UK

Jones delight at England call-up

Simon Jones
Jones has had a tough few years with injuries

Simon Jones has said it is "brilliant" to be back in international contention after being named in England's 30-man provisional ICC Champions Trophy squad.

Welsh paceman Jones, 29, has not played for England since suffering a series of injuries first picked up in the 2-1 Test victory over Australia in 2005.

"I've worked very hard to get back to where I was," he told BBC Wales.

"The season has gone very well and the new lease of life at Worcestershire has brought a new spark to my game."

Since switching counties from Glamorgan to Worcestershire in October last year Jones' career has been revitalised and he has taken 26 first-class wickets this season.

Jones had to overcome a six-month hiatus with a ruptured cruciate ligament at the start of his England career, and national selector Geoff Miller spoke encouragingly of a return to Test contention.

"I've worked hard all season really, so it is nice to know the selectors have taken some notice," said Jones.


"On your bad days, you do think slightly negatively sometimes but the way the season started and the new lease of life I have had at Worcester has really got me going again.

"My lowest point was probably last year when things were going wrong.

"I had worked so hard to get where I needed to be and you do start doubting yourself then.

"But things have clicked for me, so I am not going to dwell on what's gone, just look forward now, as I believe I am somewhere near my best."

That was undoubtedly during that 2005 campaign when his ability to reverse swing the ball allied to natural pace accounted for 18 Australian wickets at 21 runs apiece before he broke down, halfway through the penultimate match.

Having formed a revered 'fab four' with Andrew Flintoff, Steve Harmison and Matthew Hoggard during that summer, Jones has been consigned to the role of frustrated spectator since as first those three, and more recently a new-look attack, have carried English victory hopes.

"It is very hard but sport is a cruel thing sometimes," said Jones, who has played just 18 Tests since his debut six years ago.

"You have to keep positive in your own mind, keep your head down and keep working hard.

"The last couple of years have been a bit of a write-off, I wasn't quite ready last year.

"Physically, I wasn't fit for the demands of cricket but this year I have felt strong and the ball has been coming out really well as well."

see also
Jones 'close to England recall'
27 Jun 08 |  Worcestershire
Jones seeks return to Ashes form
02 Jun 08 |  Cricket
Worcestershire seal Jones signing
19 Oct 07 |  Worcestershire
Jones decides to leave Glamorgan
17 Oct 07 |  Glamorgan
Injured Jones to miss final Test
06 Sep 05 |  England

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