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Simon Jones has agreed an extension to his existing Glamorgan contract and will play six LV= County Championship games for them in 2013. The decision should, at least in part, help Glamorgan make up for the close-season loss of talismanic all-rounder James Harris to Middlesex.
Jones originally returned to his native county in 2012 on a one-day only deal because of the extensive injury problems that have plagued him ever since his freak accident in Brisbane in 2002. However, he did manage one four-day game last season against Derbyshire in May and told the South Wales Evening Post recently that he hoped to play more next season - something which Glamorgan’s head coach Matthew Mott was very keen on.
Mott said, “Over the past few months, we have been working closely with Simon - he's in great shape and he is keen to play in more four-day games next season. Being able to expose high-impact players such as Simon to four-day cricket will provide a massive boost to our Championship campaign.”
Speaking today to BBC Radio Wales’ The Back Page, Jones announced that he had come to a formal arrangement with the club whereby he would aim to play six four-day game next season besides his limited-overs commitments.
Of his troublesome knee, the 33 year-old was optimistic that, with proper management, it would cope with the increased workload.
"It's a continuous thing, I have to look after it," he said. "I have to do the right preparation in games, I have to rest up properly. It's just a matter of spacing the games out that I get the rest in between each game so that the knee is fine”
"It's hard work, but it keeps me playing the game I love so it's not a hardship. I'm 34 on Christmas Day, I still feel I've got a couple of years left in me and that's why I've agreed to do these four-day games.
"It's one of those things. I just want to get everything out of my system so when I finish I know I've done everything I can in the game and then I can relax and just chill with the kids.
"I have to play six four-day games and obviously a number of one-day games as well, which I'm backing myself to do. It's the best I've felt in a long, long time. The body's feeling good, I'm working hard I'm feeling strong.
"I felt good in the four-dayer I played last season, it was at Derby and the ball was coming out nicely. There's a lot of Championship games to be played and I feel that if I do play in the six, I feel I can help Glamorgan get towards the top of the table and hopefully get promotion."
In 2012, Jones took 22 wickets at an average of 29.14, including two wickets in 22 overs during his solitary Championship game.
In other news from Cardiff, Glamorgan’s South African-born middle-order batsmen Chris Cooke recently agreed a new two-year deal. The 26 year-old has been a limited-overs specialist thus far during his time with the club and topped their Clydesdale Bank 40 averages last season, but head coach Matthew Mott said that he hoped that Cooke would feature in the Championship side in the near future.
He said, “We look forward to working with him to continue to develop his career as he pushes for inclusion in our four-day team."
© Cricket World 2012
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