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Geraint Jones to play for Papua Guinea

Associated Press
Jan 21, 2012 at 09:57am IST

Sydney: Former England wicketkeeper Geraint Jones will return to international cricket aged 35 when he turns out for Papua Guinea, the country of his birth, at the World Twenty20 qualifying tournament in the United Arab Emirates in February.

Jones, who played 34 Tests for England and was awarded an MBE for his involvement in the 2005 Ashes series victory over Australia, was born in Kundiawa in Papua New Guinea.

He recently approached Cricket PNG offering his services and his county side Kent, the England Cricket Board and the International Cricket Council have all approved his change of nation.

Geraint Jones to play for Papua New Guinea

The former England player to play for Papua Guinea, the country of his birth, at the World Twenty20 qualifying tournament.

Cricket PNG boss Greg Campbell said "I couldn't believe it when Geraint contacted us. He is genuinely excited about coming to play and helping us achieve the dream of a World Cup spot."

"He has played so many games at the highest level. His talent and experience will be incredibly valuable for us."

Jones will join the PNG team, coached by Australian Brad Hogg, in time for a training camp in Canberra in February, immediately before its departure for Dubai.

PNG will be one of sixteen nations at the qualifying tournament which will compete for two spots at the World Twenty20 Cup in Sri Lanka this year.

The winner of the tournament will be pooled with Australia and West Indies, while the other finalist will be in a group with defending champions England and 2007 winners India.

PNG qualified through a regional tournament for the final qualifier in Dubai at which it will compete with ICC associates Afghanistan, Canada, Ireland, Kenya, Netherlands and Scotland, and with other regional qualifiers comprising Namibia, Uganda, Bermuda, the United States, Hong Kong, Nepal, Oman, Denmark and Italy.

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