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Last Updated: Monday, 12 September 2005, 19:27 GMT 20:27 UK
Simon Jones' exclusive column
Simon Jones' column appears exclusively on the BBC Sport website
By Simon Jones
England fast bowler

Missing the final Test was frustrating but we've won the Ashes and I think I've contributed to the success.

Simon Jones
Joining in the post-match celebrations at The Oval

This has been the toughest summer of my life.

It was the hardest thing I've done to declare myself unfit before the final Test began, but I couldn't let the rest of the guys down and play with an injury.

Over the last three years we've proved how good we are and we've proved that we really are something special now.

For anyone to beat the Aussies, who have proved over the last 10 years that they are the top side, is simply awesome.

It hasn't sunk in yet.

At lunch on the final day there were a few nerves in the dressing-room because we just didn't know what would happen in the following session, which was crucial.

The bond between us and the Aussies is very special

They had three world-class bowlers out there, in Glenn McGrath, Brett Lee and Shane Warne.

Warney really is special. It's obviously the last time he'll play a Test in England and I felt for him when he walked off the ground.

It's the toughest series I've played in and I think the Aussies would say the same thing.

Some people say there should be changes in their team now but I'm not so sure.

That side has worked for them for some time now and to change it after just one series defeat would not necessarily be right.

It wasn't until there were only about 30 overs left and they needed more than 250 that we started chilling out a bit.

Michael Vaughan and the Ashes urn
It's only small but it means the world to us

But we didn't start opening any beers until the umpires confirmed the game was over - we didn't want to be premature.

The bond between us and the Aussies has been very special. It's the only series playing for England that I've known so much respect between two sides.

In South Africa, we didn't mix at all with the other players but these Australian boys have been totally different.

Some people will want to know about my injury but all I can say is that I will rest the ankle for two weeks and evaluate it from there.

At the moment I should still be available for the winter tours and surgery is a last resort.




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