Shin scan clears Jones to travel

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The Independent Online

Simon Jones, the Glamorgan paceman, will fly out to join England's tour of the West Indies next week after medical examinations revealed no substantial problems with his shin.

Jones, 25, was supposed to travel to the Caribbean today after being added to the squad last week. The captain, Michael Vaughan, and the coach, Duncan Fletcher, were keen to pitch him straight into the tour opener, against Jamaica on Monday, but after the injury scare Jones will not now depart England until Monday.

The hierarchy's hopes were scuppered when Jones returned from England A duty in India on Wednesday suffering discomfort in his left shin. He underwent two scans, the second of which yesterday evening gave him the all-clear.

Having only recently returned from a career-threatening cruciate ligament injury which sidelined him from first-class action for a year, the Welshman will now have only one warm-up match to prove his fitness for the first Test in Jamaica on 11 March.

"He had a bone scan yesterday on his left shin and that was clear. He's going to fly out on Monday lunchtime," Andrew Walpole, the England and Wales Cricket Board spokesman, said from the Caribbean.

Jones ruptured his right knee in only his second Test appearance, the Ashes clash in Brisbane last winter, and did not make a single first-team appearance for Glamorgan last season. But an ability to generate pace and reverse-swing had him earmarked as an integral figure in England's plans to win in the Caribbean for the first time in 36 years.

Ironically, England's selectors believed Jones had proved his fitness for the four-Test series by claiming 10 wickets against Tamil Nadu this month.

Meanwhile, Chris Read admitted yesterday that he needs to deliver with the bat if he is to establish himself as Alec Stewart's long-term successor as England's wicketkeeper.

Despite impressive displays with the gloves in Sri Lanka recently, Read still has a point to prove in the West Indies.

"I said before I went out there [Sri Lanka] that my keeping would be the lesser of the two challenges in terms of taking over from Alec Stewart and establishing myself in the side, and I think it proved that way," Read said. "I was very happy with the standard of keeping during the tour and my batting started well in Bangladesh, but the real test was always going to be Sri Lanka and I found that very tough. It's a fair assumption that I am under pressure now.

"The role of a wicketkeeper today is to score runs and I've had five Tests in the winter and, bar a couple of knocks in Bangladesh, I've not done a great deal to cement my place as a wicketkeeper-batsman and that's what I need to do."