While at Lord's the other day for the Middlesex v Kent CB40 game (less said about the result the better) I overheard a couple of Kent fans arguing about Geraint Jones, and clamouring for his international recall. Jones has long since been cast onto the international scrap-heap, with plenty of alternatives sought and chosen ahead of him. Seemingly there would have to be some sort of explosion at the English Wicket-Keeper’s Summer Disco for Jones to even be thought of when discussing potential England wicket-keepers.
But should we still be so hasty? Jones was probably correctly dropped (no pun intended) from the international fold due to poor glovework rather than due to any obvious flaws in his batting. But just like his successor Matt Prior, who was also cast aside due to a lack of prowess behind the stumps, Jones has worked hard at his game and is (according to the Kent aficionados) a much better keeper as a result.
Jones has also benefitted from a promotion up the order, and has grown in maturity as a batsman as well. While I’m of course not at all advocating a massively shock return to test cricket (where he averages a measly 23 compared to Prior’s lofty 42), Jones does have almost exactly the same figures in ODI cricket as the man who was chosen to stand behind the sticks for England at the World Cup. I don’t really want or think Jones will ever play for England again, but at a time where the wicket-keeper’s position will have to be considered in limited overs cricket, maybe it wouldn’t be as surprising as you think if Jones got the nod.
So what is my random thought of the day? Well, if England did recall Geraint (don’t worry, this isn’t actually going to happen), we could see the reformation of the 2005 Ashes dream team. Hoggard, Harmison and Simon Jones are (occasionally) turning their arms over for their respective counties, and Trescothick is still at his brutal best for Somerset. Lest we forget that Strauss, Pietersen and Bell are actually still playing for England. I’m sure Ashley Giles and Michael Vaughan wouldn’t mind donning the three lions for one last hurrah, and that Freddie Flintoff’s knee surgeon would be perfectly all right with him turning out again. India wouldn’t mind if their coach decided to return back to the England side for an exhibition series. It would be a great money spinner for the ECB, and the TV companies would love it.
This is basically what I think of those Kent fans talking about Geraint Jones playing for England again. It was the most stupid thing ever said about cricket, so I tried to out do it. Sorry Kent fans, it ain't gonna happen.