Geraint Jones: 'There are no good memories for me of that match in Perth'

Four years ago the wicketkeeper was part of the England side that surrendered the urn at the Waca. The pain remains, he tells Will Hawkes

Cast your mind back four years. Then it was England going into the Perth Test in trouble, having gone 2-0 down at Adelaide after a devastating last-day collapse. Australia, by contrast, were a finely tuned machine as the likes of Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath and Adam Gilchrist signed off from the Ashes by starring in one of the most one-sided series that this venerable contest has seen. By the end of the Waca Test, it was 3-0 and all over. And it was to get worse.

One of those on the receiving end was Geraint Jones, the Kent wicketkeeper who played his last Test match for England at the Waca. He made a pair in the final act of an international career that touched the heights and the depths; Perth undoubtedly falls in the latter category. "There are no good memories for me of that match," said Jones, who was replaced by Chris Read for the fourth and fifth Tests of the series. "We were flat after Adelaide and only Alastair Cook came out of that match moderately happy as he scored his first Ashes century. To have lost the Ashes after just three matches – it was so disappointing.

"I remember that the Aussie fans were all over our backs because they were so on top. Adam Gilchrist played that remarkable innings – one of the fastest of all time, a magnificent hundred – and the Australian supporters were loving it. Not brilliant memories. I expect it's a bit different this time."

Indeed it is. Jones could be forgiven for wishing England had been so together and composed in 2006-07. "It looks like a great squad to be a part of," he says. "It always is good when you are winning. But I had the same thing in 2005. That was the highlight for me: to win the Ashes back after so many years was fantastic."

The decisive blow in 2006-07 came in the Test before Perth. "It was so disappointing because we felt we had played our way back into the Test series on the first three days at Adelaide," Jones said. "Then the last day knocked the stuffing out of us. With a draw, we would have gone into Perth in a much better state."

Jones has clearly now accepted the disappointing end to his international career. He is a senior member of a young Kent team that has more potential than proven class and owns a small holding close to Canterbury where he raises sheep and pigs. It has taken time for him to come to terms with the 2006-07 Ashes – at the start of the 2007 county season, he was still clearly struggling with the memories of what was, personally speaking as well as team-wise, a disastrous tour. What made it harder was that Jones had become the poster boy for how Duncan Fletcher's England had gone from Ashes winners to the worst ever side to tour Down Under.

The start of the process of getting over that came straight after Perth when, no longer a member of the Test side, he flew with the rest of the squad to Melbourne. "Being out of the team meant the pressure was off and I was really able to enjoy myself in Melbourne and Sydney," he said. "If this England team can win in Perth, they'll be able to do the same thing. They are two magnificent cities. I was able to take my mind off the cricket there."

First, though, they must win at the Waca, something England have managed only once in the history of the ground (in 1978, when Australia's side had been pillaged by World Series Cricket). Much of the talk before this current match was about how the infamous ground was back to its bouncy best but, according to Jones, it wasn't like that four years ago. "It was not fast, in fact it was fairly slow," he said. "There wasn't even much bounce. It wasn't anything like a Perth pitch is supposed to be.

"I actually really enjoyed playing at Perth, despite my pair: it's more like a cricket ground whereas some of the venues in Australia are huge stadiums."

Jones is enjoying the reversal of fortune that this Ashes series has produced so far. "It's interesting to see the Aussies chopping and changing, dropping Mitchell Johnson and then recalling him," he said. "They're in a state of panic. By contrast, all the plans we've prepared have been fantastic. You have to give [Andy] Flower and [Andrew] Strauss credit: it has been a massive contrast to four years ago. I'm really hopeful that the boys can bring home the Ashes."

2006 Perth scorecard

Australia 244 (Panesar 5-92) & 527 for 5 dec (Clarke 135, Gilchrist 102 no) beat England 215 & 350 (Cook 116) by 206 runs. Australia go 3-0 up and regain Ashes.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Guru Careers: Graduate Resourcer / Recruitment Account Executive

£18k + Bonus: Guru Careers: We are seeking a bright, enthusiastic and internet...

Reach Volunteering: Chair and trustees sought for YMCA Bolton

VOLUNTARY ONLY - EXPENSES REIMBURSED: Reach Volunteering: Bolton YMCA is now a...

Tradewind Recruitment: Geography Teacher

£150 - £180 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Geography Teacher Geography teach...

Tradewind Recruitment: Geography Teacher

£150 - £180 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Geography Teacher Geography teach...

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine