No bad blood among England wicketkeepers, says Jones
by Cricket Archive Staff Reporter
DateLine: 21st November 2006
Geraint Jones says his regaining of the wicketkeeping duties for
England in this week's opening Ashes Test against Australia has not
soured his relationship with dumped Chris Read.
Jones was anointed last week as England's 'keeper by coach Duncan
Fletcher for the first Test and has played in all three of the
tourists' Test lead-up games with Read looking on.
Fletcher's decision has been slammed by former England captain and now
commentator Mike Atherton, who said Jones' reinstatement at the expense
of Read was poorly handled by Fletcher, a long-time fan of Jones.
Atherton said the move left little doubt the team would have no
confidence in Read if Jones was injured during the series and needs to
But Jones, who kept behind the stumps in England's Ashes series victory
last year, says there is nothing personal between the two
"I was a little bit surprised to be honest," Jones said Monday before
the tourists left for Brisbane. "Chris had the gloves at the end of the
summer, I thought the first two weeks would be crucial and I was hoping
I could push my point strongly enough that I'd be included. The early
timing of finding out was a good one for me but I feel for Chris in
that regard, it gave me a chance to get my head around it."
On the subject of their relationship, Jones was clear.
"It was difficult for him when he found out I was playing, and I felt
for him in that regard, but other than that we still workout in the gym
together, we're basically friends," he said.
"There's nothing personal between us, we know that, and when he was
included last summer I sent him a text to say good luck and go well,
there's nothing between us, it's a selection thing."
Jones is regarded as a superior batsman giving England a longer batting
spine, but his wicketkeeping has been criticised.
Jones dropped a straightforward chance off opening batsman Phil Jaques,
who went on to make a century in the tour opening match against the
Prime Minister's XI in Canberra. He also missed a stumping on Michael
Clarke in the match against New South Wales and another botched
stumping against South Australia on Sunday, but Jones felt confident he
would be right for the Brisbane Test.
Jones also put down seven chances in last year's Ashes series in