Ken fulfils dream of playing for England

March 26, 2023

PLAYING for England was something that Suffolk cricketer Ken Jones had only ever dreamed about.

But Ken achieved the peak of his cricketing career when representing England-70s during a highly successful tour Down Under.

It was not only the Ken’s first trip to Australia, but his first cricket tour of any kind – and one he described as ‘a really fantastic cricketing experience’ following his return home.

England won nine and lost only one of their 11 fixtures – the other was cancelled – with their only defeat coming in the first One-Day International against Australia.

England won the second and third OIs to clinch the ‘Grey Ashes’ 2-1, although Ken admitted he was ‘very disappointed’ to be the only member of the 17-strong squad not to play in the series.

After returning figures of 9-5-14-1 with his medium pace against ACT/NSW South and 9-3-18-1 versus the Victoria President’s team, Ken had hoped to be picked for the ‘Grey Ashes’ after England lost the first match.

He said: “Yes, of course I was very disappointed not to be chosen in the second or third ODI as I believe my performances warranted serious consideration.

“Having said that, the squad was strong and as a team player I did all I could to support the players selected on the days of each game. Indeed, I think that I did more running during the second ODI than any of the players in either team as I was running on every four or five overs with water, mineral drinks, etc!”

Ken Jones is pictured above with his bowling award for his performance in the match versus ACT/NSW South. Main photograph: Ken Jones on the outfield at the MCG in Melbourne

Ken, who lives on the outskirts of Ipswich and plays for Ipswich CC, said: “I played in six games and was selected for the cancelled game in Tamworth against the NSW Waratahs.

“This was particularly disappointing on two points. Firstly, it was due to be a day/night match with each team playing their first 23 overs in natural light and then their final 22 overs under lights. It would have been my first day/night match.

“Secondly, having bowled well in the previous game I saw it as a real opportunity to force may way into a stronger position for selection in the team for the second ODI.”

Ken, who is originally from Southport, said the hospitality afforded to the tourists was fantastic everywhere they went.

He continued: “We were made very welcome and I established some good friendships not just in our squad, many of whom I did not know or hadn’t played against or with before, but in the Australian players and officials.

“I look forward to meeting up with some or all of these in our summer when the Australia team tour England. We had trips to a micro-brewery and sheep shearing facility where there was a demonstration shearing of two sheep.

“Food everywhere was often in the form of a barbecue but always with plenty of high-quality dishes on offer.”

The 70-year-old summed up: “It was a really fantastic cricketing experience. I was also able to meet up with family friends who emigrated to Sydney, Australia whom I haven’t seen in person for over 45 years!

“I also arrived a couple of days before most of the squad and left four days afterwards too. I was able to spend some quality time in Brisbane at the beginning and even more in Melbourne at the end.”

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