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The Test: My Life, and the Inside Story of the Greatest Ashes Series – by Simon Jones

Release date: 02nd July, 2015
Publisher: Yellow Jersey Press

List Price: £15.99
Our Price: £12.91
You Save: £3.08 (19%)
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Oh, the agony and the ecstasy. England quick Simon Jones experienced the full gamut of emotions in a career pockmarked by injuries yet illuminated by a stellar performance against the Aussies in 2005.

All is laid bare in this brutally honest roller coaster of an autobiography, perfectly timed to coincide with this summer’s Ashes.

Cricket’s perennial battle for supremacy between England and Australia left the young giant from Swansea a broken man, only to return like a phoenix from the flames three years later and seize 18 wickets at 21.00 apiece in the first four Tests of a 2-1 series victory. Revenge tasted sweet.

However, the enduring image – and a recurring nightmare – is of Jones busting a gut on the first morning of the first Test in Brisbane in 2002 to cut off a boundary, only to trap his right foot in the sandy outfield and rupture a cruciate knee ligament.

Insult was heaped upon injury by a drunken Aussie fan, who demanded: “Get up, you weak Pommie bastard.”

Jones recalls: “I see his face and never forget it, a face burned into my mind... leering, gloating. He pulls back his arm and throws a half-full beer can at me on the stretcher. It flies a few inches past my head."

As Jones retraces small steps on the achingly lonely road to recovery from injuries, it is impossible not to sympathise with a fast bowler cruelly restricted to 18 Tests.

But this rip-roaring tale is also something of a celebration of Jones, the lad who is far from shy in admitting a penchant for wine, women and song.

The model invited to his hotel room, only to be offered Pringles from the minibar and a cup of tea before Jones passed out in a drunken heap, took her revenge in the tabloid press on a man once voted the ninth sexiest in the world.

Eat your heart out, George Clooney. You were tenth.


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