The National, Tuesday 07th Febuary 2012
GERAINT Jones’ one-off appearance for Papua New Guinea next month in a Twenty20 game is not be just a singular event with the former England and Kent wicketkeeper revealing he would want a more stable role as coach of the national side as his contribution to the game in his country of birth.
And with PNG Cricket currently looking for a new coach for its senior team after Andy Bichel and Brad Hogg withdrew their services due to other commitments, there is an opportunity for Jones to take the job should he qualify.
The 35-year-old was born in the country and several years after the idea was first suggested he will make his bow in the Twenty20 World Cup qualifying tournament in Dubai this month.
Jones, who played 34 Test matches for England, has only been back once since leaving Papua New Guinea as a six-year-old, but is keen to share his experience beyond the event and even after the end of his playing career.
He said: “I would like to think it’s something more regular.
“It’s a fantastic opportunity to be involved a bit more and could lead to something other than just playing.
“There may be the potential of a coaching role down the line at some point, who knows.
“To be back playing international cricket is exciting and it’s a new group of players.
“To qualify would be an amazing achievement, but we know it’s going to be tough.”
The tournament will be useful in his preparations for the season with Kent. New coach and former West Indies batsman Jimmy Adams is expected to begin work shortly and Jones is keen to get started.
He said: “There will be five or six new faces around with the new coach and some younger players coming in.
“In a way it’s a new changing room, which is exciting.”
Cricket PNG general manager Glen Campbell said at the beginning of the year that several names had been considered for the coaching director’s role.
The former Australian Test player said Adam Hollioak and Ashley Nofke would be approached.
Both men have played cricket for the respective countries with Hollioak captaining the England one-day team while Nofke also having represented Australia in the limited overs format.
Campbell however stressed that no candidate had yet been confirmed.