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Geraint Jones

Few can have a more exotic pedigree than that of Kent and ex-England wicketkeeper Geraint Jones, who was born in Papua New Guinea of Welsh parents and learnt his cricket in Australia before moving to Kent in 2001, aged 25.

Bearing in mind his parentage, it was not surprising that his first port of call when arriving in the United Kingdom was Glamorgan, but it was at Canterbury that he began to shine as a wicketkeeper with Kent's second XI.

With Paul Nixon being Kent's number one choice behind the stumps, Jones originally found first-team opportunities hard to come by, but once Nixon returned to Leicestershire Jones made the wicket-keeping position his own at the start of the 2003 season.

His keeping was tidy while his batting ensured that he was talked about as a possible successor to Alec Stewart prior to the Surrey man's retirement.

Jones averaged over 50, with two hundreds and seven half-centuries, and passed the 50 mark for victims behind the stumps as well.

Those performances gained the attention of the selectors and he was rewarded with a place as the second wicketkeeper in the Test squad chosen to tour Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

His opportunities to impress out there were limited but he was nevertheless considered a valuable member of the squad and was selected for England's tour to the West Indies.

He was handed his debut when he was chosen ahead of Chris Read for the fourth and final Test in Antigua and made a solid start, scoring 38 in the first innings and 10 not out the second time round.

That was enough to keep his place for the home npower Test series against New Zealand in summer 2004 and he seized the opportunity in style with a superb century as England won the second Test at Headingley and went on to complete a 3-0 series whitewash.

Geraint Jones

Jones shared a heroic partnership with Paul Collingwood in the 2005 NatWest Series final to win the man-of-the-match honours

His impressive batting form also saw him chosen ahead of Read for the 2004 NatWest Series and he retained his place for the NatWest Challenge and ICC Champions Trophy.

Jones played his part in the 4-0 Test series win against West Indies and made 74 in the second Test at Edgbaston as he shared a 170-run stand with fellow big-hitter Andrew Flintoff.

He also featured in all four of England's matches in the ICC Champions Trophy and was named in the squads for the winter tours of Zimbabwe and South Africa.

Jones quickly made his mark and hit his maiden ODI half-century in the second match against Zimbabwe in Harare when he hammered 66 from just 46 balls.

He also shared a 120-run stand with Kevin Pietersen which was a record for England's sixth wicket in a ODI - beating the previous best of 112, set by Neil Fairbrother and Adam Hollioake against South Africa in Dhaka in 1998.

In the final match of the series he shared a 150-run partnership with skipper Michael Vaughan, for the sixth wicket, which once again broke the record.

The success continued in South Africa where Jones made a half-century in the second Test and another 50 followed in the final Test to help England secure a 2-1 series win - their first in South Africa for 40 years.

Jones was then employed as an opener during the one-day series against the same opponents but could not prevent South Africa gaining some revenge with a 4-1 victory.

He was named in the England Development Squad in May 2005 and played in both npower Tests against Bangladesh as England romped to victory before playing in all seven of his country's NatWest Series matches against the Bangladeshis and Australia.

After initially opening the batting, Jones returned to his Test position of number seven and was one of the heroes in a dramatic final at Lord's, rescuing a seemingly impossible position when England were 33 for five chasing the Aussies' 196.

His 116-partnership with Paul Collingwood - a record for England's sixth wicket against Australia in ODIs - edged the hosts towards what eventually became a remarkable tie as the trophy was shared.

Jones' 71 and five catches in the match earned him a deserved man-of-the-match award.

England then lost The NatWest Challenge 2-1 to Australia and suffered a heavy defeat in the opening Ashes Test at Lord's, with Jones one of the players to be singled out for criticism.

Geraint Jones

Jones celebrates the winning catch at Edgbaston

He made amends at Edgbaston though and sealed arguably the most thrilling Test win in England's history when he took a leg-side catch to dismiss Michael Kasprowicz with Australia needing just three runs to win.

He also played a vital role at Trent Bridge where he hit 85 and shared a 177-run sixth-wicket stand with Andrew Flintoff which laid the foundation for a victory which ultimately saw England reclaim the Ashes.

Jones produced some impressive performances behind the stumps during the Test series in Pakistan and also made a half-century in the second Test but could not prevent a 2-0 series defeat. He played all five games in the subsequent one-day series but struggled with the bat.

He was awarded an MBE at the end of 2005 after his contributions to winning back the Ashes for England.

Jones made a fifty in the second Test in March during the tour of India but his failure to match this achievement in England's next six Tests saw him lose his place to Chris Read for the third and fourth Tests against Pakistan in the 2006 home series.

He also lost his place to Read for the NatWest Series against the touring Pakistan side after playing in the 5-0 home whitewash against Sri Lanka earlier in the 2006 summer.

Read kept his place in the one-day side during the ICC Champions Trophy, making him the man in possession going into the Ashes series.

England opted for Jones' experience for the first three Tests of the Ashes series but he struggled with the bat against the Australia's attack and was subsequently dropped.

Nixon was then preferred to both Read and Jones in the one-day series which followed and kept his place for the World Cup, leaving Jones to prepare for the new season with Kent.

He scored two championship hundreds in 2007 and was part of 46 dismissals. He was an ever-present member of the side and helped Kent to Twenty20 Cup glory.

Jones’ keeping had clearly advanced in 2008, but he had diminished batting returns until he scored 106 and 91 in championship matches home and away against Lancashire.

The next year was his best for some time with the bat as five first-class tons resulted in a format average of 51.73. That dipped the next two seasons but was back above 40 in 2012 when he also represented PNG in the World Twenty20 Qualifier.