Friday, December 15th, 2023


New Worcestershire signing Rob Jones is looking forward to the next chapter in his career and aiming to cement a regular first team spot at New Road.

Jones signed a three-year contract with Worcestershire after making the move from Lancashire and has quickly fitted in with his new team-mates after an initial loan spell last summer in the Metro Bank One Day Cup.

A brilliant hundred against Northamptonshire at Wantage Road gave Worcestershire supporters an early glimpse of his quality.

Although he played over 100 games across all formats for Lancashire, Jones admits his career has progressed in “fits and starts” to date.

The 28-year-old is hoping to seal a place in the top order next season but says he has to earn his spot and will take nothing for granted.

Jones said: “I’ve played over 100 games in cricket and it’s been in fits and starts. I’ve never really had a stable career so far. It would be nice just to try and take every opportunity that I get.

“I’m 28, I’ve played a bit of cricket, I’ve not played as much as I would have liked, but hopefully I can kick on and make a mark here and give everything a go.

“I’ve batted from one to nine in first class cricket and I want to try and make a spot my own and hopefully I can give it a good crack for the next three years.

“That’s what would be nice. That’s ultimately what I really want to do. But I’m not taking anything for granted. You’ve got to earn these things, you’ve got to make sure you take every opportunity and earn it.

“Because I’ve moved clubs, you don’t automatically gain game time. You’ve got to warrant your spot. I’ll always do that, and I’ll always be pretty humble about that.

“I’m just really excited for the opportunity, excited for the club and excited for going forward really.”

Jones has found his appearances in red ball cricket restricted since making nine appearances during the 2021 campaign.

He said: “I was in and out and it was a bit frustrating, like it would be for any player, and ultimately why I looked to move somewhere else.

“I loved my time at Lancashire but really nice to try somewhere else and be part of an exciting time for Worcestershire.

“It’s a great opportunity, getting into Division One, and hopefully we can challenge and win games of cricket next year.

“But ultimately that is what professional sport is about. You want to play at the highest level you can, you want to test yourself and challenge yourself at the highest level. That is where you want to be.”

So what are the main differences between Division One and Division Two?

Jones said: “Just the depth of teams and squads, like at Surrey where you’ve got batters potentially coming in at nine, ten, eleven.

“The bowlers are more relentless. They just don’t miss as much, that’s how I found it. Teams perform for longer, keep the pressure on for longer.”

Jones admits his formative years as a cricketer toughened him up for the challenges of the professional game.

He said: “I’ve always played men’s cricket since I was 10-11. Just growing up with my dad, I was always in his side at Oakmere Cricket Club, second team cricket, proper club cricket.

“You are up against opponents who are physically stronger and you get challenged in that way. It toughened me up mentally and physically.

“You got put in your place a few times, got shot down, which is a good thing as well.

“But my dad was great with me although I ran him out once and he was not very happy!”

Jones completed the Professional Cricketers’ Trust three-day bike ride at the end of the season but he has also been clocking up the miles as a runner.

He said: “I’ve done a couple of half marathons in the last month. I did the Conwy half marathon a couple of weeks ago which involved running around the Great Orme. That was a good run.

“I also did a 10 kilometres race in Wilmslow and I got a personal best so quite happy. I love my running. I put the headphones on, and then it’s one foot in front of the other.”