England drop keeper Jones for third Test

Updated on Aug 01, 2006 11:51 AM IST

Jones sustained a right ring finger injury while batting during England's second Test victory.

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None | ByAgence France-Presse, Manchester

England wicket-keeper Geraint Jones was on Monday dropped and replaced by longstanding rival Chris Read for the third cricket Test against Pakistan starting at Headingley on Friday.

Jones, who took over from Read after the Nottinghamshire gloveman was himself axed for the final Test against West Indies in Antigua two years ago, had played 31 consecutive Test matches and was known to be a firm favourite of coach Duncan Fletcher.

But a run of just one fifty in his last 15 Test innings was too much for the selectors, who initially opted for the Kent gloveman over Read on account of his superior batting, to ignore and they have decided to give Jones a spell on the sidelines.

Jones sustained a right ring finger injury while batting during England's innings and 120 run second Test victory at Old Trafford.

But David Graveney, England's chairman of selectors, made it clear that Jones had been dropped on form alone.

"We have taken this decision regardless of the injury to Geraint's finger," he said.

"The key factor for the selectors was his form with the bat and we believe he will benefit from having a break from international cricket and spending more time in the middle with his county."

Ironically the decision to drop Jones came at a time when his wicket-keeping, often criticised, was improving.

But his run of low scores has coincided with a fine burst of batting form for Read, who scored a hundred for England A against Pakistan earlier this season and on Sunday smashed 72 off 55 balls in a one-day Pro 40 match for Nottinghamshire against Northamptonshire.

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