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Last Updated: Monday, 13 November 2006, 11:59 GMT
Jones choice bizarre - Notts boss
Chris Read
Read was forced to carry the drinks against New South Wales
England's decision to reinstate Geraint Jones as wicket-keeper ahead of Chris Read for the Ashes has been described as "bizarre" by Read's county coach.

Nottinghamshire director of cricket Mick Newell said: "Chris has been ruled out without being given a chance.

"To have gone from a situation where he played in England's last Test to this ... well, I find it very bizarre."

But Kent coaching co-ordinator Simon Willis said Jones was a better batsman and not far behind with the gloves.

He told BBC Sport: "Chris has had an opportunity and the biggest thing it's shown is that he wasn't that far ahead with the gloves as everyone was making out.

"Geraint was disappointed he had been dropped in the summer because he felt his wicket-keeping had gone forward."

Read performed well when replacing Jones for two Tests against Pakistan but batted poorly in the ICC Champions Trophy, also making mistakes with the gloves.

Coach Duncan Fletcher and captain Andrew Flintoff make the final decisions on starting XIs for overseas Test matches.


Geoff Miller and chairman of selectors David Graveney join Fletcher in picking teams for home Tests and chose both Read and Jones for the tour squad but have no direct say on the Test line-up.

Graveney has not been available for comment since Fletcher confirmed Jones' reinstatement on Sunday.

Newell said he had spoken to Read, who was "disappointed and surprised" at the decision.

"He's now got a long tour ahead of him with probably no cricket to play, apart from a two-day game after the second Test. It's not a nice situation.

"I'm bitterly disappointed for Chris and also at the way this was handled," added Newell on the Nottinghamshire website.

Jones was England's wicket-keeper during the victorious Ashes series of 2005 but he was dropped after a run of poor form with the bat during this summer's Pakistan series.

The Kent keeper was brought up in Brisbane, where the first Test starts on 23 November.

Whether he's a favourite or not, whatever management is in place, they want players who can deliver the goods

Kent's Simon Willis
on Geraint Jones

Willis said Jones had worked hard to improve his poor batting form after being dropped by England in August.

He said: "When he came back to Kent he worked really hard on his game as he is well aware that runs on the board are crucial.

"There's no doubt that he's a better batsman [than Read], but sometimes if you are involved in a Test series, practice time is limited.

"Sometimes the international schedule doesn't allow players enough to time to put things right.

"Whether he's a favourite or not, whatever management is in place they want players who can deliver the goods and he's one of those players.

"Geraint has certainly copped a hell of a lot of the press but by making the decision now [that he will keep wicket at Brisbane] that's one less issue England have to worry about now."





Jones to return as Ashes keeper
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02 Nov 06 |  Classic Ashes
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