Former England wicketkeeper Geraint Jones has announced that he will retire from cricket at the end of the English summer and has stood down as Gloucestershire captain with immediate effect. The 38-year-old, who played 34 Tests for England and was part of the side that won the 2005 Ashes, will remain available for his county in all formats for the remainder of the season but was not named in the squad to face Northamptonshire in the Championship at Cheltenham from Wednesday, ESPNCricinfo reports..
“It’s been something I’ve been thinking about quite strongly in the last few weeks,” Jones said, “and I’ve come to the decision that this season will be my last as a cricket player. But it’s on a positive note that I’ve made the decision. Yes the family side has been a big consideration but ultimately it’s about what’s best for Gloucestershire cricket and this squad. “Over the last few weeks I felt there were guys who needed an opportunity and my place in the team was potentially that opportunity. I still want to play a big role in helping the team on and off the field but now is a chance for them to start to formulate the best way forward for this group of players and for Gloucestershire cricket.”
Jones made his final Test match appearance for England on the Ashes tour of 2006-07 but has represented Papua New Guinea, the country of his birth, in recent years. Jones signed a two-year deal in October 2014 when joining Gloucestershire from his county of 13 years, Kent. He was named captain of the four-day side, with Michael Klinger absent for the start of the season, and has led in every Championship fixture so far, scoring 400 runs at an average of 26.67.
He has also has kept wicket in place of Gareth Roderick in recent weeks. Jones said Roderick’s return from injury was a motivating factor in stepping down from the captaincy. “With him coming back into the side it would have meant someone like Ian Cockbain missing out,” Jones said. “He’s been in and out of the side over the last few years and what was nagging away was that given the security of his place what could he be capable of? We all know what a good player he is in one-day cricket. It also gives the coaches a chance to work out where best to bat these guys and start planning for the future.”
Gloucestershire head coach, Richard Dawson, said: “I respect Geraint’s decision and the reasons behind it. He has had a fantastic career and still has a big role to play in the development of the team going forward.”