Jones sets sights on top or­der spot

AIM­ING HIGH: Wick­et­keeper looking to se­cure No.3 po­si­tion at Kent

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Classified - By Kevin Red­sull

GERAINT JONES wants to pin down a reg­u­lar top-three spot in Kent’s bat­ting line-up this sum­mer.

Kent’s for­mer Eng­land wick­et­keeper fin­ished last sea­son as the No. 3 man in their County Cham­pi­onship matches and said: “Hope­fully I will get the chance to carry on there this sea­son.

“It’s a tough po­si­tion but I en­joyed it and had some suc­cess and I have set my win­ter train­ing around bat­ting at No.3.”

Jones fin­ished 2008 with 668 firstclass runs at an av­er­age of 30.38, which rep­re­sented a rea­son­able re­turn af­ter he had strug­gled early on.

He said: “I was happy with my wick­et­keep­ing last year but I didn’t start the sea­son well with the bat and that is some­thing I have been try­ing to ad­dress this win­ter.”

And, ac­cord­ing to Jones, all his Kent team-mates have been prompted to take a hard look at them­selves fol­low­ing the dis­ap­point­ment of rel­e­ga­tion from the LV Cham­pi­onship first divi­sion.

He added: “We are a proud county and a proud bunch of play­ers and want to be play­ing in the top divi­sion. Be­ing rel­e­gated left a sour taste in the mouth af­ter what had been – up to the last few weeks – a pretty suc­cess­ful sea­son.”

But Jones ad­mits he was still sur­prised by the vit­ri­olic na­ture of some of the com­ments posted on the Kent web­site af­ter their rel­e­ga­tion had been con­firmed, say­ing: “It sounded a bit like a lynch mob and that peo­ple were bay­ing for blood.

“At one point we were in line to win three or four tro­phies and it was amaz­ing how it all changed around in the space of a few weeks.”

With Aus­tralia de­fend­ing the Ashes in Eng­land this sum­mer, Jones is bound to re­ceive fre­quent re­minders of the role he played dur­ing that mag­i­cal se­ries the last time the Aussies were here four years ago.

And, still only 32, he cer­tainly hasn’t give up hope of winning a re­call to the Test side. He said: “I hope I haven’t been writ­ten off be­cause I have got a lot of ex­pe­ri­ence at in­ter­na­tional level and I know my game a lot more now.”

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