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Last Updated: Monday, 31 July 2006, 11:01 GMT 12:01 UK
Jones axed as England pick Read
Chris Read
Read will now hope to gain inclusion in the Ashes squad
England have dropped wicket-keeper Geraint Jones after 31 consecutive appearances and recalled Chris Read for the third Test against Pakistan.

Jones has a hairline fracture on his right ring-finger but England's management made a point of saying the injury was not an issue in selection.

Chairman of selectors David Graveney said: "The selectors feel this is the right time to make a change.

"Geraint has kept very well this summer, but he has been short of runs."

The third Test starts at Headingley on Friday with England 1-0 up in the four-Test series.

Read, 27, has had two previous spells with the gloves in England's Test squad, but was dropped in April 2004 during the West Indies tour for Jones to make his debut in Antigua.

But the Nottinghamshire player has put pressure on Jones this season, scoring 601 runs in first-class cricket at an average of 42.92, with three centuries.

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Read said: "I felt that I kept well in the West Indies two years ago, but I knew that if was I going to get back in the Test side I would have to work on my batting because I hadn't scored enough runs.

"So I made a conscious effort to look at my batting and analyse where I can improve.

"I have worked hard with the help of Mick Newell and Paul Johnson at Nottinghamshire as well as the staff at the ECB National Academy.

"Things have gone well for me and I feel that I have reaped the rewards by scoring well in both first-class and one-day cricket over the last couple of seasons."

Jones scored a century in only his third appearance for England, but has failed to follow up his early efforts with the bat.

He has failed to reach 20 with the bat in his last five Tests, although his keeping was excellent at Old Trafford, where he took one stumping and six catches.

Graveney confirmed the decision to axe Jones had been taken regardless of his injury.

It's up to me to go back to Kent, score plenty of runs and put myself back in the frame for the Ashes

Geraint Jones

He said: "The key factor for the selectors was his form with the bat and we believe that he will benefit from having a break from international cricket and spending more time in the middle with his county."

Jones said he would do everything in his powers to reclaim the gloves.

He said: "It's a blow to lose my place, but the selectors have explained the reasons why and I will be working extremely hard to win it back.

"I have been very pleased with my wicket-keeping this summer but I am also conscious of the fact that I am in the side as a batsman as well as a keeper.

"Your performances in Test matches are always going to come under intense scrutiny and what I need to do now is recapture my best form away from the international arena.

"It's up to me to go back to Kent, and as soon as my finger has recovered, look to score plenty of runs and put myself back in the frame for the Ashes this winter."


England squad: Andrew Strauss (capt), Marcus Trescothick, Alastair Cook, Kevin Pietersen, Paul Collingwood, Ian Bell, Chris Read (wk), Sajid Mahmood, Jon Lewis, Matthew Hoggard, Steve Harmison, Monty Panesar.



PAKISTAN SQUAD GUIDE
 

SEE ALSO
Jonathan Agnew column
31 Jul 06 |  England
Pakistan in England 2006
27 Jun 06 |  Future tour dates
Live cricket on the BBC
19 Apr 06 |  Cricket


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