Jones in limbo as Afridi nears Hants debut

Simon Jones
Simon Jones
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Hampshire admitted they are considering letting Simon Jones return to Glamorgan.

But it appears Pakistan star Shahid Afridi is closing in on his Royals debut.

Former England Test star Jones has been linked with a return to his former county after seeing his opportunities limited at the Rose Bowl this season.

Jones recently voiced his frustrations after missing out on selection for the Friends Life t20 campaign, where he has played just twice so far.

He has been included in the squad for tonight’s trip to Glamorgan.

And while a statement released by Hampshire admits an approach has been made, a decision is yet to be reached.

‘At the present time, Simon Jones remains a valued member of the Hampshire squad,’ said the statement.

‘He travels to the Friends Life t20 match against Glamorgan tonight as part of the team and is available for selection should the coaching staff wish to include him.

‘We can confirm Glamorgan have approached us regarding the possibility of Simon going on loan. However, any deal will be subject to what is best for Simon, his family and the club.’

Jones left Glamorgan for Worcestershire in 2007 and joined up with Hampshire last season after his long battle with a knee injury.

After eight appearances last term, he has played just one Championship clash and five CB40 matches this season.

But in his two t20 games, Jones has looked a real threat, with his pace causing major problems for batsmen.

Meanwhile, it appears an agreement has been struck between Afridi and the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to see him return to Hampshire.

Afridi’s no-objection certificate is expected to be reinstated after he pays a fine of around £30,000 for comments he made about the board.

That should mean he will be clear to play for the Royals in time for next Thursday’s t20 trip to Essex, unless there are any further developments in the meantime.

Afridi was effectively suspended by the PCB on the eve of his t20 debut for Hampshire.

His representative, Umran Khan, appears confident the matter has now been resolved.

He said: ‘Shahid will be able to play for Hampshire next week.

‘The meeting between Shahid and Ijaz Butt (PCB chairman) went very well and both parties have come to an amicable agreement.

‘I spoke to Giles White and they’re very pleased it’s all sorted.

‘Shahid is very excited to finally be linking up with Hampshire.’

However, a statement from the Royals last night said: ‘At this present time, Hampshire have yet to receive a no objection certificate from the PCB relating to Shahid Afridi’s availability to play in this season’s Friends Life t20 competition.

‘We maintain, as we have throughout, that we would be very happy to welcome Shahid should this be received but, having yet to gain official confirmation, we feel it would be inappropriate to comment any further.’