Jones out of Pakistan tour

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Welsh seamer Simon Jones has been ruled out of England’s upcoming tour of Pakistan with an ankle injury.
The Glamorgan paceman has failed to recover from the ankle spurs that sidelined him for the final Ashes Test at The Oval.

Jones took 18 wickets in the first four Tests before his place in the XI which secured the Ashes was taken by Durham all-rounder Paul Collingwood.

Jones failed a fitness test on Tuesday and the chief medical officer of the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said the Welshman would have to go under the knife.

“We have tried a number of measures to help Simon’s ankle injury to settle, but these have been unsuccessful and we are left with no alternative but to operate,” said Peter Gregory.

“There should be sufficient time for Simon to regain fitness and hence become available for selection for the tour to India beginning in late February.”

Pakistan host England for a three-match Test series and five one-day matches from November to December this year. The first Test starts in Multan on November 12.

England chairman of selectors David Graveney admitted that the loss of Jones would have a big impact on the Pakistan tour, notably as he is England’s best exponent of reverse swing – a crucial ingredient on the sub-continent.

“It is big blow. He formed a partnership as one of the four fast bowlers which proved such a test for Australia,” said Graveney.

“The combination of the four bowlers was really a perfect mix.”

Jones has already fought back from one career-threatening knee injury when he ruptured cruciate ligaments on the last tour to Australia in November 2002, forcing him to spend a long time out of the game, but Graveney hopes that will actually aid his recovery not hinder it.

He also referred to Andrew Flintoff’s speedy recovery from a similar injury earlier this year.

“He (Jones) fought his way back from a serious injury in Australia so let’s hope he recovers as Freddie (Flintoff) did with a similar injury,” he said.