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Last Updated: Wednesday, 17 October 2007, 10:05 GMT 11:05 UK
Jones decides to leave Glamorgan
Simon Jones
Jones had been offered a two-year deal to stay at Glamorgan
England fast bowler Simon Jones has decided to leave Glamorgan and is poised to sign for Worcestershire.

Jones is a free agent after the end of his contract with the Welsh club, and opted to move to New Road despite also attracting interest from Hampshire.

The 28-year-old was a star of the 2005 Ashes, but has not played for England since then because of various injuries.

A knee problem restricted him to only a few matches for Glamorgan during the recent county season.

Despite that, Worcestershire believe he can play a full part for them over the next two years and have called a news conference on Friday morning to announce a "major new signing".

Glamorgan cricket manager Matthew Maynard told BBC Wales Sport: "We are disappointed as a club but we understand his reasons and I think they are valid to be honest.

606: DEBATE
EnglandCricket2007

"He knows that he might be in his comfort zone here at Glamorgan and he needs to get out of this if he is to further his career and get back into the England team.

"I was confident he would re-sign for us but it was not to be and we have missed out on a very high profile player.

"He had to make probably the toughest decision of his career whether to stay or go in terms of his development.

"He will be missed and is going to be very difficult to replace, but he goes with our best wishes. There is no animosity."

And Maynard said money was not the main factor in Jones' decision.

"I think it was for Simon in terms of the way he wanted to be tested out of his comfort zone here at Glamorgan," he said.

"He probably realised himself he needed that challenge and ultimately that was the decision thatswayed him and not a financial decision."

The start of Jones's international career was interrupted when he suffered a cruciate ligament injury to his right knee while fielding in Brisbane during the 2002-03 Ashes series.

But he fought his way back into the England side after a long lay-off and his pace and use of reverse swing enabled him to take 18 wickets in four Tests against Australia in 2005.

He was forced to sit out the final game at the Brit Oval with an ankle problem but was chosen to tour India the following winter, only to twist his left knee during net practice, and injury which led to him requiring surgery.

Jones's Glamorgan career began in 1998 and he played 53 first-class matches and 20 one-day games in 10 years with them.

But the county won only two matches and finished bottom of the LV County Championship Division Two this season.

We've been interested all along, once we knew Simon might be on the move

Worcestershire director of cricket Steve Rhodes

They hoped the recent recruitment of former England physio Dean Conway, former Yorkshire batsman Matthew Wood and Warwickshire seam bowler Adam Shantry along with the fact that Cardiff will stage an Ashes Test in 2009 would persuade Jones to stay.

"Naturally we're disappointed that Simon has turned down our offer and decided to leave Glamorgan," said Glamorgan chief executive Mike Fatkin.

"However, we appreciate that it's been a difficult decision for him and if this is what he believes gives him his best chance of playing again for England, then we respect that.

"Our offer was a very fair one. We had to balance Simon's understandable need for financial security after losing his central contract with the fact that he has had a number of injury problems over the past few years, but we believe we got that balance absolutely right.

"Ultimately, though, Simon had to make a decision. We understand he is going to Worcestershire and we wish him well there."

Steve Rhodes, director of cricket at Worcestershire described Jones as a "quality bowler".

He told BBC Wales Sport: "We've been interested all along once we knew Simon might be on the move. But until it's signed, we can't get too carried away, but remain optimistic.

"I am hoping we will get the final close of the door at the back end of this week and I'm pretty sure Simon won't want it dragging.

"But if it goes on to the week after, then I think Simon is worth waiting for."

When asked why Jones would choose Worcestershire over a bigger club, Rhodes said: "Worcestershire deep down is a very close friendly club and it's not unlike the dressing room is at Glamorgan.

"It's not one of the major Test playing grounds but it is certainly an ambitious club that wants to go places."



SEE ALSO
England star to make fresh start
17 Oct 07 |  Cricket
Maynard hopeful of Jones decision
22 Sep 07 |  Glamorgan
Hampshire clear to speak to Jones
03 Sep 07 |  Glamorgan
Vaughan and Jones returning home
27 Feb 06 |  England
Injured Jones to miss final Test
06 Sep 05 |  England
'Gutted' Jones out of Ashes series
07 Nov 02 |  The Ashes
BBC Sport Wales coverage
24 Dec 06 |  Wales


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