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Missing India tour was disappointing: Jones

Written by: Staff

London, Apr 14 (UNI) A fit and raring to go England pacer Simon Jones said returning from the tour of India without playing a single match was disappointing as he had worked hard at figuring out ways to torment the much touted Indian batting line-up.

''I was really looking forward to India, bowling against good batsmen on wickets where it's very hard to get the ball above chest high. I'm used to that, because the wickets at Cardiff are quite similar - although they're improving now - so I was hoping to make a big contribution,'' the Wisden Cricketer of the year told the ''Guardian''.

The pacer said he had recovered from the ankle injury, which forced his withdrawl and was looking forward to return to the team for the tour of Sri Lanka.

''Put simply, I'm as fit and strong as possible,'' the 27-year-old said.

''I've done six weeks rehabilitation, I saw the surgeon two weeks ago and he's chuffed, really happy and, on top of the way I feel, that gives me a lot of confidence that everything is right,'' he added.

''The work I'd done previously to sort out my right knee (in which he ruptured a cruciate ligament at the start of the 2002-03 Ashes tour) has actually set me up pretty well to deal with other injuries. I've been doing a lot of running and weights programmes, dynamic rather than static, and now I just want to get out there and bowl.'' an excited Jones said.

The bowling spearhead said injuries in the past couple of years were diffcult to cope with but said his father Jeff Jones, whose career was cut short with an elbow injury, helped him get through the tough times.

''When you have a couple of injuries in succession there is a mental barrier to get over, especially at first, when it's easy to lie back and ask yourself 'why me?' But a couple of chats to my dad soon put me right.'' ''It isn't so much what he says as what happened to him. He was forced to retire at 25 (with an elbow injury) and I haven't met anybody who loves the game as much as him, so I can't imagine how he must have felt,'' Jones said.

Jones said he was honoured to be named among the five cricketers of the year especially because his Galmorgaon teammates had finally found something else, other then him being named the ninth sexiest man by a women's magazine, to congratulate him for.

''They've never let me forget it. And no, there isn't an upside.

Apparently 20,000 women voted in that survey but I haven't met one yet,'' Jones joked.


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