When discussion turns to rotation policies, resting players and giving others a go, as if the topic is selection for the local club under 11s rather than the national team, my thoughts always turn to Alan Jones, that fine former Glamorgan opening batsman who is unique in being the only player to have been awarded a Test cap only for it to be then expunged from the records. I wonder how he feels when talk of Test caps is so cheap.
Jones toiled long and hard at the top of the order for Glamorgan, in an era when uncovered pitches demanded a certain watchfulness, and when he was finally given his due he must have felt the kind of deep satisfaction that comes with a reward justly earned. When he walked out to bat for England in 1970, against a hastily-arranged Rest of the World XI in lieu of South Africa, Jones knew he had earned the right to wear his England cap.
Besides, in opposition that day was Garfield Sobers and Mike Proctor, amongst an array of other greats, a standard of opposition which puts to shame some of the so-called Test runs made in recent years against, say, Bangladesh. After the cricketing authorities decided they could no longer consider these games to be of Test status, they airbrushed Jones from their Test records. He could no longer call himself a Test player…..